Dallas Cowboys

No contract update but Jerry Jones compares relationship with Zeke to Michael Irvin

Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson says without Zeke Elliott the Cowboys are going nowhere

Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson says without Zeke Elliott the Cowboys are going nowhere
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Hall of Fame RB Eric Dickerson says without Zeke Elliott the Cowboys are going nowhere

Jerry Jones simply answered “No.”

There are no updates on the team’s negotiations with holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott.

And, no, he has not felt the need to clear the air with the star running back and his hurt feelings behind Jones’ “Zeke who” joke.

Unlike the hard-line stance he took earlier in the week when told of Elliott’s unhappiness and feeling disrespected with the joke following last week’s 14-10 victory against the Los Angeles Rams, Jones provided a softer tone.

He compared their relationship to the one he has with Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, saying they have been through too much together to need to clear the air over a joke. Irvin had a string of off-field issues during a career that included three Super Bowl titles with the Cowboys.

“No. Not at all,” Jones said during a walk-off conversation underneath AT&T Stadium following the Cowboys 34-0 victory against the Texans. “No. We know each other. We have been in the battles with each other kind of like Michael trying to roll back and clear something out with me.”

It goes without saying that Jones was fined $2 million for going against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell in fighting Elliott’s six-game suspension in 2017.

Jones said that what’s making things awkward now is that the two sides are in contract negotiations.

“And so you don’t tell everything because you know you are negotiating,” Jones said. “Anything I say is a negotiation. So it’s not like you asking me something specific and me saying, ‘Look we are in a negotiation.’

“And the same thing with him. Well that is the way we do each other when we are negotiating. We all do it with each other.”

Again, Jones said there no change in the negotiations with the two-time NFL rushing champion. The team has offered him a deal that would make him the second-highest paid running back behind Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.

Jones remains optimistic about getting a deal done with Elliott before the start of season but he can’t and won’t make any promises.

“I’m optimistic that we can get Zeke’s deal done,” Jones said. “I don’t know that. I don’t know that. But sure, I don’t mean to be trite, but the whole premise is based on getting everybody under contract playing, so that’s what we’re trying to do here. Zeke’s under contract.”

Jones said the situation is serious and it is important for Elliott to get done and get in the fold.

But the season is kicking off at home against the New York Giants on Sept. 8 no matter what.

“Everything about this is important,” Jones said. “Everybody does understand it. It’s just a question of seeing if it works. But you know, we’re going to play football one way or the other. That’s the way it works.”

The Cowboys are in contract talks with quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper as well. Both have one year left on their deals.

Jones hopes to get them done but has no concerns about them missing games because they have been here all along. Elliott remains the issue.

“What you want is everybody under contract, and everybody is under contract that makes the squad, lining up against the Giants,” Jones said. “That is the goal. It’s accountable. It’s a very tangible thing. Everybody under contract playing. When you don’t have everybody under contract playing, then you’re dealing with a blowout or you’re dealing with a flat tire someplace and you try to get it fixed. But you’ve got to play, and you do play.”

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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.