FRISCO, Texas – Based on their initial 53-man roster, one could argue the Cowboys appear a bit thin at running back.
Could they get a major boost soon?
Multiple reports Saturday say contract talks between the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott's camp are starting to progress as next Sunday's season opener against the New York Giants looms. For now, Elliott remains on the Reserve/Did Not Report list as his contract holdout enters its fifth week.
The current running backs on the active roster after Saturday's cuts: rookie Tony Pollard, veteran Alfred Morris and fullback Jamize Olawale, who's versatile enough to handle carries if needed. The team waived Jordan Chunn, Darius Jackson and rookie Mike Weber. Last year, the team did go with two true running backs (Elliott, Rod Smith) for much of the season.
While reports say talks with Elliott have increased over the weekend, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said Friday he wouldn't have further comment on the negotiations as both sides approach the "midnight hour" trying to get a deal done.
"I think we need to just stay focused with the people that we're working with and see where we end up," he told 105.3 The Fan.
Earlier in the week, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said didn't necessarily view the Sept. 8 opener as a negotiating deadline and he's operating under the assumption that Elliott could miss at least one regular-season game.
That didn't mean, however, that talks would end.
Elliott has two years remaining on his current deal with a $3.853 million in base salary in 2019. Last season he led the NFL in rushing for the second time in three years (1,434 yards) and caught a career-high 77 passes, earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.
He has not practiced since the Cowboys' minicamp in mid-June. The team is scheduled to return to practice Monday as they turn attention to the Giants.
Pollard took the majority of the reps with the starters in training camp and preseason. Whenever Elliott does return, the Cowboys would have to make a roster to move in order to activate him from Reserve/Did Not Report.