Marshall Faulk Talks Training with Ezekiel Elliott Amid Cowboys Contract Holdout

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2019, file photo, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott pushes off Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Cory Littleton during the first half in an NFL divisional football playoff game in Los Angeles. Elliott's holdout clouds the expectations for a franchise longing to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the last of five championships nearly 25 years ago. The Cowboys have a fourth-year quarterback already with two NFC East titles in Dak Prescott, a receiver ready to show what a full season looks like in Amari Cooper and a defense with an established star in pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence and two emerging ones in linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott is doing his best to make sure he is in playing shape for whenever his contract standoff ends by training with one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.

Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk has been working with Elliott in Cabo San Lucas as he holds out in hopes of receiving a new contract.

"His fitness is great, but playing in games is different," Faulk told ESPN's Ed Werder. "My job is to close that gap with putting him in active game situations. The only thing we can't simulate is the contact."

This comes after Faulk said on the Rich Eisen Show last week that he was making the trip to Mexico in part "to try and make [Elliott] throw up":

Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow

"I'm going down (to Cabo) to try and make him throw up." -@marshallfaulk told us how he's going to Mexico to train @EzekielElliott while the #dallascowboys RB is holding out: https://t.co/VFZeOOYZN1

Per Eisen, Faulk lost that challenge.

Rich Eisen @richeisen

UPDATE: Just texted @marshallfaulk to see if he got Zeke to puke. “He met the challenge and didn’t puke. I hate losing money but I did.” Also said Elliott is in very good shape and “the process of getting into football shape is underway” https://t.co/aQ1q60feZB

In terms of training partners, it doesn't get much better than Faulk. After all, he is a former NFL MVP, a seven-time Pro Bowler and, yes, a Super Bowl champion.

Since being taken fourth overall in 2016, Elliott has quickly established himself as one of the best running backs in football. He has led the league in rushing in two of his first three seasons, and he has led the league in yards per game in each of his first three seasons (101.2 yards per game for his career). 

The 24-year-old still has two years remaining on his rookie contract, but he has sat out of training camp and the preseason as he looks for a new deal. Werder previously reported that Dallas has put an offer on the table that would make the two-time Pro Bowler the second-highest-paid running back in the league, behind only Los Angeles Rams star Todd Gurley (four years, $60 million).

But that has not been enough to get a deal done.

"The question is," Faulk told Werder, "are the Cowboys willing to have him miss games because they don't believe he should be the highest-paid RB?"

Elliott recently made it clear to Maxim's Keith Gordon that "I love playing for the Dallas Cowboys" and he wants "to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life." However, he also pointed out that Emmitt Smith—the NFL's all-time leading rusher—spent the final two years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals after spending the first 13 seasons in Dallas.

The two sides now have less than two weeks to reach an agreement before the holdout could result in Elliott missing regular-season games.