Talks between the Dallas Cowboys and holdout running back Ezekiel Elliott “are intensifying” and both sides expect to finalize a new deal this weekend, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday.
Elliott, 24, was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He has two years remaining on his rookie contract and is due to make $3.85 million this season.
Elliott has been absent throughout training camp and the preseason, working out on his own instead in Mexico.
Reports earlier this month said Dallas had offered Elliott a deal that would make him the second-highest paid running back in the league behind Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. Gurley signed a four-year, $57.5 million contract with $45 million guaranteed last summer.
Through three seasons, Elliott has carried the ball 868 times for 4,048 yards with 28 rushing touchdowns. He gained a league-leading 1,631 yards in his rookie year, when he was named an All-Pro, and also led the league with 1,434 rushing yards last year.
The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 8 against the New York Giants.