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Report: Cowboys and QB Dak Prescott Not Close on a New Contract

Plans for the 2016 quarterback class’ extensions became clearer this week, with the Eagles extending Carson Wentz and the Rams appearing set to approach a Jared Goff re-up next year.

The Cowboys do not have as much time, as Dak Prescott is entering his first contract year.

The Cowboys and Prescott began negotiations weeks ago, and a report of progress emerged last month. The parties seem to have hit a standstill in talks, Sam Robinson of reports.

Prescott and the Cowboys are “really far apart” on terms at this point, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network notes — to the point where they will likely press pause on these discussions. This process looks set to drag into training camp, Garafolo adds.

Elliott’s Latest Vegas Incident ‘Likely’ to be Reviewed by NFL Commissioner

The NFL is likely to review an incident involving Ezekiel Elliott and a concert security guard in Las Vegas to determine if the Cowboys running back violated the terms of previous suspension guidelines set forth by commissioner Roger Goodell, two league sources have told Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports.

Elliott was briefly handcuffed at a Las Vegas concert earlier this month after bumping a security guard. Video of the incident made its way to TMZ. The Cowboys running back ultimately wasn’t arrested or charged.

Sources close to Elliott and the Cowboys have told Yahoo Sports they don’t believe the language of Elliott’s previous suspension determination supports discipline in light of the video footage.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters last week that, “I don’t see that having any consequences for us.”

Despite that stance, a source in the NFL’s executive branch told Yahoo Sports the Las Vegas incident is “clearly” subject to review by Goodell under the league’s personal conduct policy, particularly in light of Elliott’s previous six-game suspension for alleged acts of physical abuse against an ex-girlfriend.

That previous case continues to be a source of resentment at the highest levels of the Cowboys franchise, largely due to the league’s sole interviewer of Elliott’s accuser having recommended no discipline after finding inconsistencies and credibility issues with the alleged victim’s statements.

Cowboys WR Allen Hurns Being Held from OTA’s as He Recovers from Ankle Injury

Cowboys wide receiver Allen Hurns is being held out of OTAs and he tries to come back from a grisly ankle injury suffered in last season’s Wild Card round according to Todd Archer of ESPN.

Originally an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami, Hurns spent four productive years as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars including a 1,000+ yards/10 touchdowns campaign in 2015 before signing a two-year, $12 million contract to join the Cowboys last March. Hurns’ first season in Dallas was disappointing as he produced only a 20/295/2 line in 16 games but the Cowboys front office apparently saw enough promise to exercise his $5 million option for 2019.

The Cowboys hope the now 27-year-old Hurns will be ready to return sometime during training camp. Meanwhile thew missed time should give former Green Bay Packers wideout Randall Cobb the early lead over him in three-receiver sets.

ESPN Says the Cowboys Should Shut Down Talks of Ezekiel Elliott’s Extension After the Latest Drama

Stephen A. Smith reacts to Ezekiel Elliott being handcuffed at a Las Vegas music festival. Stephen A. suggests Jerry Jones and the Cowboys “stall negotiations” on Zeke’s potential contract extension to teach him a lesson.

ESPN: Cowboys Priority is Wrapping Up Prescott and Cooper, Not Elliott

Dan Graziano says the Cowboys’ priority is to complete deals with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, while Ezekiel Elliott’s contract is not as pressing.

Cowboys Reportedly Begin Talks on a Deal with LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys have begun talks with linebacker Jaylon Smith — one no one outside of the organization saw coming, Patrick Walker of 247 Sports reports.

Smith is set to become a restricted free agent after 2019, meaning the Cowboys have the right to issue a tender that could be original round, second-round or first-round. Seeing as his original round is the second round — being the 34th-overall pick in 2016 — that leaves just two options, in reality.

There is a difference between those two tenders from a financial aspect, and we’ll get into that momentarily. Logic dictates they’d put a first-round tender on him, though, considering he was a consensus top-5 talent before suffering a catastrophic knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl nearly five months ahead of the draft.

Smith was told by many he’d never play football again, but the Cowboys’ medical staff didn’t agree, and rolled the dice on him. Following a redshirt rookie season, which is why he’d be an RFA in 2020, Smith had a mix of growing pains and awe-inspiring plays in his 2017 return to the field and debut in the NFL.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Pays for Funeral for Eighth-Grade Football Player

A tragic death of a promising eighth-grade football player in St. Louis grabbed headlines around the country and the attention of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is now doing something special for the grieving family.

A source has confirmed to Herbie Teope of that Elliott will pay for the funeral expenses of Jaylon McKenzie, who died after being struck by a stray bullet while leaving a party in Venice, Illinois last weekend.

The news of Elliott’s gesture was first reported by Justina Coronel of KSDK-TV in St. Louis.

“For him to reach out to me was unbelievable,” McKenzie’s mother, Sukeena Gunner, told the Star-Telegram. “Jaylen loved Ezekiel Elliott. He talked about him all the time. When Ezekiel was playing, he would sit in front of the TV. His eyes were glued to the TV, watching him. Just for him to reach out to me and help me in this difficult time leaves me speechless.”

McKenzie was previously featured by Sports Illustrated as one of the country’s six future stars in different sports. He played running back, receiver and defensive back at Mason-Clarke Middle School in East St. Louis.

Elliott has ties to the St. Louis area having played at John Burroughs School, a private prep school in Ladue, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.

Cowboys Chatting Contracts with QB Dak Prescott and WR Amari Cooper

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team is “off and running” in contract talks with quarterback Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, and Jones also mentioned the desire to sign Ezekiel Elliott to an extension, Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports.

The talks have been mostly preliminary so far without much back and forth, but the Cowboys have made it known that they want to keep all three for the long term.

Jones said he will have a word of caution for Prescott, Cooper and Elliott, just as he did for DeMarcus Lawrence before the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end signed a five-year, $105 million deal last month.

“As I told DeMarcus Lawrence, and I’ll tell all three of these guys: I’d love for you to max out and give you exactly what you want, because y’all have worked hard and you deserve to have a big contract. But if we want to put together the type of team we want to have with the Cowboys …” Jones said Wednesday at the team’s annual sponsor’s golf tournament at Cowboys Golf Club.

“That’s not their job. It’s not their job to manage the cap; I understand that. But it is my job and [owner Jerry Jones’] job, so they will understand why we’re negotiating hard to make the very best deal we can. Because the money, if we can talk them into not maxing out — doing well, but not maxed — then that allows us to have other good football players around them.”

Prescott and Cooper are in the final year of their contracts. Prescott, a fourth-round pick in 2016, is set to make a little more than $2 million in 2019. Cooper is set to make $13.9 million on the fifth-year option of his deal.

Contract extensions for both players figure to be at or near the top of the players at their position, with Prescott looking at roughly $30 million per season and Cooper anywhere from $16 million to $18 million.

Two weeks ago, the Cowboys picked up the 2020 option on Elliott’s contract at $9.09 million.

“Zeke, as we all know, he’s such an important player to this organization,” Stephen Jones said. “He’s a guy that we want to have here long term. The only reason you say, ‘Well, maybe he’s not at the front, front [of the list],’ is because he’s got this year, then he’s got another year at his tender.

“These things can take time. But Zeke’s every bit as important, and then you start going down the line, whether it’s a Byron Jones, a La’el Collins, and these guys coming up, Jaylon Smith. I mean these are all players that we’ll need to address at some point in time, and they’re all players that we’ve drafted, that we’ve developed, that we think are the right kind of guys that play our defense, play our offense the way we want to play. Certainly guys we want to keep. It’s a great problem to have because we do have good young football players, but it’s also a challenge.”

Jones hopes the players can see the bigger picture of what it means to play for the Cowboys now and for their futures, alluding to ex-players who have moved into television careers — Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Daryl Johnston and Darren Woodson.

“You look at the TV booths, and you look at what these players do off the field,” Jones said. “If we can put Super Bowl rings on these guys, then they’ll be legends around this area for many, many, many years to come. What they give up a little bit in their contract, they should be able to invest in being a Cowboy and making our teams better.