“I’ve challenged him with his conditioning and trying to get him closer to football-ready, not just being in good shape,” he said. “So I’m going down to try and make him throw up.”
The mission was unsuccessful.
Faulk texted NFL Network’s Rich Eisen on Sunday to provide an update on his experience with Elliott, who apparently held down his cookies.
“He met the challenge and didn’t puke,” he told Eisen. “I hate losing money but I did.”
Elliott’s holdout, driven by his desire to become the NFL’s highest-paid RB, is currently in its 31st day. The Cowboys have completed three preseason games in his absence, throttling the Houston Texans, 34-0, in Saturday’s regular season dress rehearsal.
Zeke didn’t head to Cabo (twice) to party nor neglect his responsibilities as the league’s reigning rushing champion. Faulk noted Elliott’s physique, telling Eisen he’s in “very good shape” and readying to hit the field.
“The process of getting into football shape is underway,” Faulk added.
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JJ “Optimistic” About Agreement
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was pressed about the Elliott situation after the team’s victory over Houston, because of course. With the season-opener two weeks away, Jones is “optimistic we can get Zeke’s deal done.” But …
“I don’t know that. I don’t know that,” he emphasized, via ESPN’s Ed Werder. “But sure, I don’t mean to be trite, but the whole premise is based on getting everybody under contract playing, so that’s what we’re trying to do here. Zeke’s under contract.”
On Friday, in his weekly segment for 103.5 The Fan in Dallas, Jones’ son, Stephen, the club’s executive vice president, was brutally honest in admitting there’d been no significant movement to that point.
“I don’t think we’re close because there’s not a lot of activity,” he said.
The No. 4 overall pick in 2016, Elliott is entering the penultimate year of his four-year, $24.956 million pact, which included $24.5 million guaranteed and a $16.35 million signing bonus. He’s due just $3.85 million in base salary for 2019.
Elliott Reportedly Rejected Latest Offer
According to FOX Sports Radio’s Clay Travis, Elliott turned down the most recent contract offer from the Cowboys, which, Werder reported Friday, would have made the two-time Pro Bowler the NFL’s second-highest-paid running back, behind only Los Angeles‘ Todd Gurley (four years, $57.5 million, $45 million guaranteed).
“Ezekiel Elliott has turned down the Dallas Cowboys’ offer to make him the second-highest paid running back in the NFL,” Travis said on his Outkick the Coverage show. “Zeke has made an utterly ridiculous decision.”
Travis, more talking-head than true news-breaker, ripped into Elliott for rejecting the lucrative overture (or so he claims) while throwing his support in Dallas’ corner.
“He has two years left on his contract. He is getting huge dollars, which are not justified, based on the value of the running back position right now. … Jerry Jones needs to be smarter than this; he doesn’t need to pay Ezekiel Elliott even as much as he has offered right now. That is ridiculous. Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I think the Cowboys need to adopt a tougher line here. They paid Jaylon Smith. They’re going to have to pay Dak Prescott. They’re going to have to pay Amari Cooper. It doesn’t make sense to pay a running back $13 million a year, $12 million a year, $14 million a year.
Walk away, Jerry Jones. Let Tony Pollard run behind that Dallas Cowboy offensive line. He will do incredibly well for you, and a lot of people will legitimately be saying — instead of in a joking fashion — ‘Zeke who?’”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL