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.
Here's what Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott told the media on Wednesday about his case of Coronavirus: “I would say I had maybe one or two days when I felt symptoms. Even then, it wasn’t too bad. I had a cough and a little bit of shortness of breath. Now, I feel good. I feel normal.” Although there's still plenty we don't know about this virus, it shouldn't be an issue for Zeke by the time training camp gets going. You could even argue that his fantasy value gets a boost if he's now immune to getting sick during the season.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Zeke is reportedly 1 of multiple Cowboys and Texans players who have tested positive. The identities of the others have not been released. Elliott is "feeling good" now, his agent said. The longer-term impacts of the virus are still unknown, though, so Elliott's status will need to be monitored. Of course, players testing positive figures to be a fairly common occurrence this summer and into the 2020 campaign.
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.
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