OXNARD, Calif. – An ESPN report that Ezekiel Elliott will not play for the Cowboys this season without a new contract is "news to us," chief operating officer Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday.
Without getting into specifics, Jones said the Cowboys have been "very generous with our offer" to Elliott regarding a new deal. The All-Pro running back remains away from the team on the Reserve/Did Not report list, however, as talks continue.
The Cowboys' front office remains committed to securing new deals for stars such as Elliott, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper. But nothing seems imminent at the moment.
"I don't see any momentum that would lead me to believe that we're going to get anything done while we're out here," Jones said.
The Cowboys will return to Dallas after their Aug. 17 preseason game against the Rams in Honolulu, Hawaii.
That's not to say one or more deals can't get done by the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the Giants. Prescott and Cooper are in camp, and talks have been ongoing.
The biggest question might be Elliott, given his decision to train away from Oxnard. Unlike Prescott and Cooper, who are in the final year of their current contracts, Elliott has two years left on his rookie deal, including the fifth-year option picked up by the team in the spring. He's currently set to make approximately $3.8 million this season.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has expressed confidence that an agreement will eventually be reached despite outside speculation that Elliott's holdout could drag into the season.
Stephen Jones reiterated Tuesday that the team must balance the prospect of securing their stars financially while also managing the salary cap in a way that will allow for a competitive roster, top to bottom.
"We're dividing up the pie, and it's Jerry and I's final call to decide who gets what," he said. "Is it a tough one? Of course it is. It's a tough deal.
"But at the end of the day we all want them to have contracts they're happy with. That's hard to do. But at the same time, they've got to understand we've got to keep some other players on this football team."
It's a process that they're committed to completing.
"I don't want anyone to think we're not going to go to the midnight hour and exhaust all things to get a done with Dak, to get a deal done with Zeke and to get a deal done with Amari and then get deals done with other players," Stephen Jones said. "That's what we're in the business for is to tie up these young guys that we think so much of that we drafted."