Zeke Elliott is from St. Louis, Missouri, known as "The Show Me State".
Jerry Jones is ready to go to the mat with Zeke Elliott over money.
If the NFL's leading rusher wants to hold out for the regular season opener against the New York Giants, he's ready for it.
After the Cowboys preseason finale against Tampa Bay, the Hall of Fame owner sent his message to Elliott's camp through the media.
"I'm operating as though right now, he's going to miss regular season games," Jones said after the Cowboys' 17-15 loss to the Buccaneers. "My entire expectation for what we're putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having him in training camp, that he's going to miss games. We just accept that."
This was Jones telling Elliott's camp, "show me."
I have no dog in this fight and I clearly understand the position Jones has as the owner of the club that already executed a contract with the two-time Pro Bowl running back that still has two years remaining on the agreement.
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I also agree Elliott has outperformed the original deal and there is league precedent of NFL teams re-working deals for exceptional players.
Jones actually agrees that Zeke needs a new deal. They have a deal on the table.
The sticking point is they can't agree on the money.
Elliott has two years remaining on his contract and is seeking a deal that would make him the highest paid running back in the NFL.
The Cowboys have offered a contract that would have Elliott within the top three at his position financially.
I think Elliott has to see this through and miss the Giants game. Why holdout all of training camp, take all of the negative publicity and just cave in? This would not be a good look for Elliott's agent, Rocky Arceneaux. Agents can't afford to look bad. That is how they get clients poached and lose new business.
If the Cowboys lose to the Giants without their best offensive weapon, the leverage moves towards Elliott. If he misses games against Washington and a third against the Dolphins and the Cowboys don't have winning record, Jones will have to take action.
Even if he told 105.3 The Fan otherwise.
"We've got a marathon here. We want Zeke when we get to the playoffs. We want Zeke when we're in the dog days of the season."
Emmitt Smith didn't suit up for the Cowboys as they started the 1993 season as defending Super Bowl champs. Dallas started off 0-2 and the whole Metroplex blamed Jones and he gave into Smith's demands and made him the highest paid running back in the NFL.
Elliott is trying to run the same play Smith did 26 years ago. Jones was willing to try Smith. He lost. He's ready to do this again.
"There are no deadlines here with any of our contracts with our players certainly, no deadline here," Jones said. "We'd be needing Zeke anytime we can get him out there. We need him. We don't have deadlines. I have no deadlines."
I think on September 8 fans won't see #21 on the field for the Cowboys against New York. This is the true test for Elliott; to show Jones how serious he is to become the highest paid running back in the NFL.