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Report: Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott situation could go “sideways” fast

Mike Florio explains why an 18-game NFL regular season with a player only being allowed to play in 16 of them would never work and how the league is doing everything it can to expand the regular season.

In response to our report that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has said privately that he intends to not show up for training camp absent a new contract, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports has put some meat on the bone.

In a series of tweets, Robinson reports that Elliott hasn’t made a firm decision to hold out, but that he is “absolutely thinking it through and definitely wants an extension in the works.”

Robinson also believes that, if the Cowboys aren’t “proactive” about a deal, “this could go sideways fast.”

“It hasn’t yet,” Robinson explains. “This will be an important week.”

Although the notion that Elliott hasn’t made a “firm decision” to hold out doesn’t completely and totally mesh with our report, it confirms that something is up, at a time when it had been believed that Elliott would not make a stand. And it’s possible that Elliott is privately telling people he plans to hold out in order to get the Cowboys to take the situation seriously.

The Cowboys have shown little urgency to extend Elliott’s deal, due in part to the fact that he’s under contract for two more years. This has prompted speculation in some circles that they won’t try to extend him, this year or maybe next year.

“Certainly we’ve got a couple years there with Zeke to get that done,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told PFT in May. “We certainly want to get him done. He’s the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink. He’s a key part of what we’re about. Those things take time to get done. They don’t happen overnight. Certainly he’s a priority in terms of ultimately getting him signed. There hasn’t really been a timetable put on this.”

Elliott seems to be putting a timetable on it, if not on getting a deal done on making strides toward doing so. And the threat that the drink will have to stir itself seems to be real.