Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t seem concerned about starting the regular season without star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
“We’ve got a marathon here,” Jones said during his radio show Wednesday on 105.3 FM The Fan. “We want Zeke when we get to the playoffs. We want Zeke when we’re in the dog days of the season.”
Elliott, 24, is holding out over his contract status and working out on his own away from the team. It was reported recently that Dallas offered a deal that would make him the second-highest paid running back in the league behind Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams.
Elliott’s representatives have said he will not play the 2019 season without a new contract. The two-time NFL rushing champion’s current contract is set to pay him $3.85 million in 2019 and $9.1 million in 2020.
On Wednesday, Jones said the Cowboys will be ready to open the season at home on Sept. 8 against the New York Giants — with or without Elliott.
“We have to be prepared to play without any given player,” he said. “We may very well play without a player that’s not coming in on his contract. We’ll play and we’ll play well.”