FRISCO, Texas – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones says there's no deadline in his mind regarding negotiations with running back Ezekiel Elliott on a new contract.
The Sept. 8 season opener is less than two weeks away, but Jones says "we have to be prepared to play without any given player."
"That's just a given," Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Wednesday morning. "That's not unusual business in the NFL. That's not unusual business in the NFL. We played without players for suspension. We played without them for injury. That'll happen again this year. And we may very well play without a player that is not coming in on his contract. If that's the case we'll just play and we'll play well. We've got, I think, a very talented team coming together."
Jones didn't have anything new to report on contract talks with Elliott. He said he's not concerned about Elliott's past off-the-field issues with regard to negotiations.
Elliott, the NFL's leading rusher two of the last three seasons, has two years left on his current deal. He has stayed away from preseason practices and games seeking a new contract. Rookie Tony Pollard has taken the first-team running back reps with Elliott on the Reserve/Did Not Report list.
But again, Jones does not seem concerned about Sept. 8 as a true deadline for a deal.
"We've got a marathon here, " Jones said. "And we want Zeke when we get to the playoffs. We want Zeke when we're in the dog days of this season. ... A fresh Zeke as we get on into the end of the season would be great."