CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora hears that there's "every expectation" that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott sees a "significant workload" in today's opener against the Giants. "Team sources said the running back was in great shape and made an immediate positive impression," La Canfora adds. After early-week reports that Zeke would be limited after signing on Wednesday, it's now sounding more and more like he'll play something close to his usual role. Elliott should be locked into season-long fantasy lineups.
Cowboys HC Jason Garrett was encouraged by what he saw from RB Ezekiel Elliott in Wednesday's practice. "He’s in good shape. His weight’s good, all of that," Garrett said. "But again he hasn’t been practicing against pro football players. So you just work your way back into it. He’s an experienced guy. He’s played a lot of football for us, and so we’ll just use our best judgment as we go based on what we see, his feedback, what he says to us, how he feels, all of that and you just take it step by step.” Dallas' current plan is to reportedly give Zeke about half of his normal workload. That can certainly change, though, if he gets rolling in Sunday's opener against the Giants. Although he's not his usual elite RB1, Elliott belongs in most Week 1 fantasy lineups.
NFL Network's Jane Slater hears that the Cowboys' current plan is for RB Ezekiel Elliott to play 20-25 snaps in Sunday's opener against the Giants. "Things can always change but this is the plan heading into today," Slater adds. Zeke averaged 59 snaps per game last year, so this would be about 40% of his normal workload. Of course, he could rack up 15+ touches on those snaps. And it's possible Dallas plays Elliott more if he gets rolling. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation. For now, consider Zeke a RB2 with upside in Week 1 fantasy lineups.
The Cowboys and RB Ezekiel Elliott have agreed to a contract extension that makes him the NFL's highest-paid RB, NFL Network reports. It's a 6-year, $90 million pact with "roughly half" guaranteed. It tacks on to Elliott's current deal to put him under contract for the next 8 years. More importantly, it rewards fantasy owners who went ahead and trusted that he'd return before the start of the season.Elliott has finished 3rd, 3rd and 6th among RBs in PPR points per game through 3 NFL seasons.He’s remained inside the top 4 in our 2019 rankings all along. The only questions left now are whether Zeke will play in Sunday’s opener and how much work he’s ready for.He spent his holdout training in Cabo and is in shape to play this weekend, his agent said yesterday. We'll watch for updates on Elliott’s Week 1 status, but we’d plan on having him in fantasy lineups vs. the Giants. Rookie Tony Pollard, meanwhile, sinks to just being a fantasy handcuff.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is flying back to the Dallas area on Tuesday "in case his extension gets done." This doesn't necessarily mean a deal is imminent, but it might be the strongest sign yet that an agreement is close. We've still had Elliott in the middle of Round 1 in our draft plans.
Yahoo's Charles Robinson reports that "Dallas is frustrated with the last exchange" in contract talks with RB Ezekiel Elliott's camp, referring to Sunday negotiations. Robinson added: "After Saturday's momentum, Cowboys expected more compromise to get a deal done today. Didn't happen, so it's on to Monday and a hopeful reset." Robinson had reported Saturday that the 2 sides were "close to completing" an extension. We're still drafting Elliott in the middle of Round 1, because he sits top 5 in our projections even if you factor in a couple of missed games. But you'll need to decide your comfort level with the risk vs. reward if this remains unresolved when you draft.
ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that "talks between the Cowboys and RB Ezekiel Elliott are intensifying, with both sides aiming to wrap up a new deal this weekend." This standoff was always likely to run up close to Week 1. But with the opener now just 8 days away, both sides are motivated to get something done. We're still drafting Elliott 4th overall in all fantasy drafts, behind only Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after Thursday night's preseason finale that he's prepared for RB Ezekiel Elliott's holdout to last into the regular season. "I'm operating as though right now, he's going to miss regular season games," Jones said. "My entire expectation for what we're putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having him in training camp, that he's going to miss games. We just accept that." The Dallas Morning News' Calvin Watkins reports that the Cowboys have talked with Zeke's agent in the last few days but that "nothing of substance" occurred. Jones' comments could be a final negotiation ploy to get a deal done. But we're now just 9 days away from the season opener. We just knocked 2 games off of Elliott's projections and gave RB Tony Pollard another healthy boost up the RB rankings.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said in a Friday radio appearance that he's "confident" a deal will get done with RB Ezekiel Elliott before Week 1. "Things happen real quick, sometime within hours," Jones said, adding that Zeke has been in communication with his teammates during his holdout. This thing was always likely to push up close to the beginning of the season. Deadlines spur action, as they say. It's become less comfortable to spend a 1st-round fantasy pick on Elliott, but we're still expecting him to be on the field for Week 1.
ESPN's Ed Werder reports the Cowboys recently offered Ezekiel Elliott a contract that would make him 1 of the 2 highest-paid RBs in the league. That presumably means Zeke would be making more than #3 Le'Veon Bell but less than #1 Todd Gurley. We'll see if Elliott holds out for even more, but this certainly qualifies as a step in the right direction in negotiations. We're still expecting Elliott to be signed and on the field come Week 1.
ESPN's Ed Werder considers it "likely" that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott reports to the team before Week 1. Werder guesses that'll happen between the preseason finale and the regular season opener. This sounded more like an opinion than a report. But Werder remains 1 of the industry's most plugged-in reporters, so the opinion carries plenty of weight. Zeke carries elevated risk in fantasy drafts until he actually shows up. But we're willing to gamble on him at any point from pick #4 on.
A source tells ESPN's Josina Anderson that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's holdout is "not likely" to last into the regular season. Anderson hears that Zeke won't play without a new contract but that owner Jerry Jones wants to get a deal done before Week 1. Of course, "not likely" doesn't mean there's no chance Elliott misses games. Until he reports to the team -- presumably with a new contract in hand -- he carries elevated risk in fantasy drafts.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott remains away from the team and in Cabo. But at least he's training. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Elliott has been working out at the Diamante Resort with his trainers and doctors. That's the same place Zeke trained when he was serving his 6-game suspension in 2017. He returned from that time off to rack up 259 total yards over the season's final 2 games.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott boarded a flight to Cabo on Monday, according to Kevin Turner of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. It doesn't sound like Zeke is planning to report to training camp any time soon. Insider Mike Fisher adds that the 2 sides "aren't yet close" on agreeing to a new contract. The important date here is August 6. Holding out past then would mean Elliott forfeiting an accrued season toward free agency. We'll continue to keep a close eye on this one. If you're drafting in the meantime, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and even Alvin Kamara are certainly safer picks.
Pro Football Talk hears that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott "has privately said" that he'll hold out of training camp absent a new contract. Zeke has made no public mention of a hold out. He still has 2 years left on his rookie deal, with salaries of $3.85 million this season and $9.09 million next. The problem for Elliott is that Dallas figures to prioritize re-signing QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper, who are both entering their final seasons under contract. Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, meanwhile, hears that Elliott might ultimately show up to camp if he feels the Cowboys "are making a serious push to get an extension worked." We'll see where this goes over the next couple of weeks. We're not adjusting our projections for Elliott right now, but consider Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara safer picks at the top of drafts.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo hears that a suspension is not expected for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott after Tuesday's meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell about an incident with a security guard at a Vegas music festival back in May. Garafolo described the meeting as more of a "warning" to Elliott, who's been no stranger to off-field drama. We're keeping Zeke at 16 games in our projections -- and he remains a top 2 pick across fantasy formats.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday to discuss Elliott's confrontation with a security guard at a Las Vegas music festival in May, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Elliott wasn't arrested or charged for the incident, but that doesn't preclude the league from handing down discipline. Elliott, of course, was previously handed a 6-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy. The Las Vegas incident doesn't seem like something that warrants a suspension -- but you never know with Goodell. We'll continue to monitor the situation.
Cowboys QBs coach Kellen Moore has been promoted to OC and will call plays in 2019, HC Jason Garrett said over the weekend. “I said to everybody, ‘I want those new ideas. I want them thought through far. And if they are not being implemented call me.’ But let’s get in there and do the kinds of things to get the most out of a very talented roster," owner Jerry Jones said. "Kellen has the skill and the right attitude and style to make this work.” This is a huge step for a guy who was a player just 2 years ago. Moore's play-calling ability will be a legitimate question mark heading into 2019.
The Cowboys have fired OC Scott Linehan. Dallas finished better than 14th in total yards or points in just 1 of Linehan's 4 seasons. And the offense took a big step back in 2018, ranking 22nd in both yards and points. We'll see who the 'Boys tab as Linehan's replacement. They have a young core in place with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper.
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