NFC Notes: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, Packers

     

Ezekiel Elliott

The timing of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott‘s holdout from the team is critical. Elliott obviously wants a new contract as soon as possible. By holding out the services of one of their top players and the engine of the Dallas offense on the eve of a season where the Cowboys have legitimate Super Bowl hopes, Elliott’s camp feels like its leverage is strong even though the runner is under team control for two or three more years. However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones poked a hole in Elliott’s leverage by questioning how critical he is to those aspirations. 

“The point there is, you don’t have to have a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl . . .,” Jones said via CBS. “Emmitt was the first one to do it . . . . That’s one of the dilemmas at running back is that the league knows that you can win Super Bowls and not have the Emmitt Smith back there or not have Zeke back there. You’ve gotta do all of the things along with having Zeke that allow you to have other players so that you can win the Super Bowl. That’s what we’re going through.”

  • ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports a positive update on contract talks between the Cowboys and Elliott, though it will still take some time to work out the final deal. 
  • Anderson expects Elliott to become the highest-paid running back in the NFL “across certain metrics.”
  • According to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys and Elliott have exchanged contract proposals. July 25 was the last time the two sides had meaningful discussions. 
  • Per NFL Media’s Jane Slater, the Cowboys believe their last offer was a fair one and aren’t enthused that Elliott is leaving the country while the team is in training camp. 

Cowboys

With new coaching additions OC Kellen Moore, OL coach Marc Colombo and QB coach Jon Kitna all in their first full year in their roles, Cowboys HC Jason Garrett is taking a more hands-on approach to the offense in 2019.

“I’m more connected with the offense right now than I’ve been in recent years and at different times I’ve been more connected with different parts of our team for different reasons,” Garrett said via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “We have some young coaches on the offensive side of the ball, so I’ve been a little bit more engaged in that all throughout the offseason. But hopefully, we’ll get to the point where we can get it balanced back out again.”

  • Cowboys LB Sean Lee tweaked his knee yesterday. Although, Dallas does not feel like it’s anything serious. Lee didn’t practice on Tuesday and could miss the next few days. (Jon Machota)
  • NFL Media’s Jane Slater says a team source told her the Cowboys signing of RB Alfred Morris is “just adding solid depth that we know” and not to read too much into it.
  • Morris’ deal is for one year and $1.2 million (Calvin Watkins)
  • Morris counts $735,000 against the cap and makes a $903,000 base salary and a $90,000 bonus if he makes the final roster. (Todd Archer)
  • The Cowboys activated LB Chris Covington from the NFI list. (Archer)

Packers

  • Per the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, Packers S Josh Jones has put his spring holdout and trade request behind him so far during training camp, according to GM Brian Gutekunst: “I think Josh has had a really good beginning to camp…There are some positive signs that he can really help our football team.” 
  • Packers RB Jamaal Williams sat out again with a hamstring injury. (Rob Demovsky)

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