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Cowboys reaction to Zeke’s absence: No hard feelings

On the eve of a potential contract holdout Zeke Elliott's teammates show support for the Cowboys star running back.
Credit: WFAA-TV
Cowboys players and coaches arrive at their training camp headquarters at the Residence Inn in Oxnard, CA.

OXNARD, Calif. — Updated at 1:06 p.m. with additional information on Elliot's absence.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott is officially a no-show at Dallas Cowboys training camp signaling his contract holdout is underway.

Cowboys players went through physicals and conditioning runs this morning as the Zeke watch continued, but multiple sources have confirmed that Elliott is not on the premises.

Team owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett will host a news conference Friday afternoon.

"I don't think anybody's concerned about it,” said center Travis Frederick shortly after arriving in Oxnard. "I think there's just a buzz about the team. Guys are excited to be out here and get started again. I think guys generally feel we have a solid roster."

The story exploding when Elliott was a no-show on the team's charter flight to LA.  Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday he expected Zeke to be there. But his teammates were quick to point out Elliott didn’t have to report until Friday and there were other team members who made their own way to California.

"I know I'm here that's the beautiful thing,” said linebacker Jaylon Smith “We're a team. We're going to be together and I love the hell out of Zeke."

Friday morning the players who are here will go through physicals and a conditioning run. That will be done mid-morning pacific time and it won’t take long after for the news to filter out.

Elliott has two years left on his contract, totaling about $13 million. Elliott’s aim, whether he holds out or not, is to ink a deal along the lines of the one running back Todd Gurley signed with the Rams. It includes $45 million in guaranteed money. Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones has indicated the club would be willing to make a deal along those lines, but the timetable may be the issue.

Quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper are both entering the final year of their contracts and getting those deals done have taken priority. We will soon see if Elliott will make a power play to change that.

"This game is a business and everybody has to treat it as such and I certainly hold no hard feelings to somebody whose trying to do that and get the business done and protect themselves and their family,” said Frederick. "So, for me we're out here to work and we're going to work with the guys that we have and that's not a dig at anybody that's just how it works."

The Cowboys annual state of the team presser is Friday at noon pacific time. It won't take long after that starts to see how Elliott's decision on a possible holdout affects the state of the owner.

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