Cowboys RB coach Gary Brown expects Ezekiel Elliott to play a bigger pass-catching role this season. "Now we don't have [as many proven pass-catching threats], so now obviously we're going to lean a little bit more on him," Brown said. "... We're going to get Zeke in some situations where he can catch the ball out of the backfield and make things happen as well." Elliott has seen a relatively modest 77 targets through 2 NFL seasons, but he's averaged a big 10.9 yards per catch. He's deserving of a bigger role in the passing game, and there are 242 targets up for grabs in Dallas with the departures of Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Brice Butler. Already a threat to lead the league in rushing, Zeke could push to lead all RBs in fantasy points with a boost in receiving production.

Recent Shark Bites

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.

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