Dallas Cowboys

Is holding out of Cowboys camp still in play for new-deal seeking RB Ezekiel Elliott?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has two years left on the rookie deal he signed as the fourth-overall pick in 2016 but the two-time NFL rushing champ has made no secret of his desire of wanting a contract extension sooner rather than later.

The Star-Telegram reported in March that holding out to force a deal before the 2019 season was an option on the table for Elliott.

But that was before Elliott showed up for the off-season program and minicamp.

It was also before Elliott was involved in the incident with a security guard in Las Vegas in May. The security guard is pressing charges for assault, though the NFL has been already cleared him of any wrongdoing under the personal conduct policy.

Elliott has accused the security guard of extortion in the on-going drama.

Mike Florio of NBC’s ProFootballTalk reported Monday that Elliott has privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.

Per sources, Elliott has made no decision on a holdout.

What’s also true is that it has not been ruled out.

Vice president Stephen Jones said in February that the Cowboys plan on giving Elliott a new contract on par with Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.

But the team has focused on new deals for defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, quarterback Dak Prescott, and Amari Cooper so far because their situations were considered more immediate.

Lawrence was an unrestricted free agent before signing a $105 million contract extension in March.

Prescott and Cooper are in the final year of their deals.

Like the Cowboys, Elliott is using Gurley as his guide and it’s not lost on him that the Rams signed him after his third season.

Elliott, who is due to make a salary of $3.85 million this year and $9.09 million in 2020, wants a deal before his fourth season as well.

The Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif. July 25 with the first practice set for July 27.

An Elliott decision on a holdout will be clear by then.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.