Cowboys Rumors: Ezekiel Elliott Plans to Travel out of Country amid Holdout Buzz

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 20, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12:  Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a 1 yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott "is believed to be making plans for a trip out of the country" in advance of the team's training camp beginning July 25.

That news was reported by ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, who previously wrote July 15 that Elliott has "privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract."

Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports followed that report and tweeted that the running back "hasn’t made a decision to hold out of Cowboys camp" but that he was "absolutely thinking it through and definitely wants an extension in the works."

Elliott gained 2,001 scrimmage yards and scored nine touchdowns in 15 games last season.

Elliott's current contract runs through 2020 after the team picked up the ex-Ohio State Buckeye's fifth-year option.

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said on the ProFootballTalk Live podcast earlier this month that Elliott is "the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink" while also noting that the team planned on getting a new deal done:

"I think those [contract extensions] are all a work in progress. Certainly we've got a couple years there with Zeke to get that done. We certainly want to get him done. He's the straw, if you will, that stirs our drink. He's a key part of what we're about. Those things take time to get done. They don't happen overnight. Certainly he's a priority in terms of ultimately getting him signed, but there hasn't really been a timetable put on this."

Elliott may force the Cowboys' hands on a timetable, though, if the running back doesn't appear for camp  Thursday.

The 23-year-old isn't the only high-profile running back to hold out or threaten to hold out in recent years, with the New York Jets' Le'Veon Bell sitting out his 2018 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Chargers' Melvin Gordon saying he won't attend 2019 training camp without a new contract, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bell eventually signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets. The Gordon contract dispute is ongoing.

A holdout also wouldn't be anything new for high-profile Cowboys running backs, either, with Emmitt Smith doing the same in 1993 and sitting out two regular-season games. Smith found all the leverage he needed when Dallas lost its first two games without him, leading to a four-year deal.

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