ARLINGTON, Texas – From the outside, it sure feels like the pressure is mounting.
The preseason is winding down and the regular season is in view. With 10 days until kickoff against the New York Giants, it’s understandable that questions abound about the Cowboys’ trio of unsigned Pro Bowlers – and in particular Ezekiel Elliott, who has yet to report to the team.
If the lack of movement on contract talks is frustrating, though, it’s not from a lack of trying. From the insider’s perspective, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones says it’s all part of the dance.
“I just think these things are hard, I would never call it a lack of urgency,” Jones said Wednesday afternoon. “I just think it’s all part of the negotiation.”
The ongoing standoff with Elliott speaks for itself, as Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said on Wednesday that there’s no deadline on when that deal might be completed.
But it’s also worth noting that there hasn’t been much in the way of progress with a new deal for either Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper, who are both set to hit free agency at the end of the season.
Perhaps that because the situation isn’t as dire. Asked about it after the team’s kickoff luncheon, Stephen Jones said he’s been given no indication that Prescott or Cooper won’t negotiate during the 2019 season.
“We’re open for business,” he said. “We don’t put any deadlines on anything. No one has informed me that they’re either going to visit or not visit.”
Jones said he spoke briefly with Prescott at the quarterback’s gala for his Faith Finish Fight Foundation on Sunday night, although not in any great detail.
“We talked about generalities, but there were no details discussed,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for these guys. They’re trying to do their job, and we’re trying to do our job.”
To this point, that hasn’t led to much movement. And truth be told, it’s a bit unusual for NFL teams to strike major contracts. But the Cowboys have never wavered in their confidence of getting these deals done, and that doesn’t seem to be changing now.
“Those things can be difficult, and obviously it means a lot to these guys,” Jones said. “It means a lot to us. I think everybody means well, it’s just trying to figure out a common ground.”