OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is not concerned about Ezekiel Elliott missing time in training camp or the possibility of signing the Pro Bowl running back to a contract extension.
“When have I ever not done one?” Jones said after Thursday’s practice.
Jones also acknowledged he does not believe there comes a time when a deal has to be put in place, like the start of the regular season.
“I don’t see a point,” Jones said. “I don’t see a point months into the season.”
Jones intimated rules regarding holdouts in the future could be altered in the new collective bargaining agreement. Elliott faces a daily fine of $40,000 for missing camp. Now that the holdout has extended this long, the Cowboys have the right to seek repayment of a prorated portion of Elliott’s signing bonus.
Since the holdout has passed six days, the Cowboys can recoup a little more than $600,000 with a maximum of $1.02 million if Elliott’s absence continues.
“While we’re not as bright-lined enough in that area to do the best thing for the game, there are some lines there and they do bite when you do play,” Jones said. “[But] I don’t have a time that I’m thinking that this is a concern in the area of ‘Oh, my goodness.’ This is not that time.”
The Cowboys have had regular discussions with Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, but Jones would not say whether the sides are close or not. Elliott is under contract through 2020 and is set to make $3.853 million this season and $9.09 million next season.
Speaking on 1310 The Ticket on Wednesday, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys would not be market-setters in their contracts with Elliott, Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. Earlier, Jerry Jones told KTVT in Dallas that teams do not need a rushing champion to win a Super Bowl, even though Emmitt Smith was the rushing champion in each of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl teams in the 1990s.
“Certainly, individually, they want to certainly be recognized when it comes to the money,” Jerry Jones said. “But on the other hand, it’s got to fit our plan or it doesn’t work with our house and our house falls.”
As much as Jerry Jones wants Elliott in Oxnard, the owner and general manager does not have an issue with Elliott currently being in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.
“He is very conscientious about his preparation to play and I’m not even giving it a second thought as to his conditioning, which is a part of his ability to step right in here and play,” Jones said. “That’s not even an issue. I’m not concerned about him missing the reps out here relative to getting his timing down. All of that is very easy for my mind to deal with.”