Is it possible to express optimism without sounding optimistic? If so, then Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones did just that on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan on Friday.
Although Jones didn’t make it sound as if much progress has been made in negotiations with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott or Amari Cooper, he hasn’t ruled out getting deals done before the start of the season.
Elliott remains a holdout, working out in Cabo with Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk.
It is unclear when the star running back will report to the team if a deal doesn’t get done by Sept. 8. Both sides are just hoping to have a deal done by then.
“We feel confident things will get done,” Jones said on his radio show. “Things happen real quick, sometime within hours.”
Jones said publicly two weeks ago that the team’s offer to Elliott was in the top-two at his position, topping Le'Veon Bell but behind Todd Gurley as Bell’s deal re-set the market. Nothing has changed since then.
“I don’t think we’re close, because there’s not a lot of activity,” Jones said. “Right now I wouldn’t say that I feel anything’s imminent.”
Gurley’s deal averages $14.4 million per season, while Bell’s annual average is $13.1 million.
Elliott wants to become the highest-paid running back in football.
But Jones reiterated Friday that the Cowboys aren’t going to be market-setters because they can’t afford to be.
“We just can’t go to a place like that,” Jones said on The Fan, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News.
So what Jones really is saying is: There is nothing new to see here.