Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys are reportedly inching closer to a contract extension ahead of the team's Week 1 opener against the Giants this Sunday. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently suggested that the team was prepared to play without Zeke for multiple games, but there now seems to be a belief that a deal is coming sooner than later.

According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the two sides had "a more positive day" on Monday, although the Cowboys are still reluctant to front-load the contract. 



On Monday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport mentioned that the Cowboys and Elliott's reps negotiated throughout the holiday weekend with hopes of reaching a deal that would make the 24-year old All Pro running back the highest-paid player at his position.

"From what I'm told, Ezekiel Elliott's camp and the Cowboys negotiated all weekend trying to strike a deal that would eventually make him the highest-paid running back in football," Rapoport said (H/T NFL.com).

"I'm told there has been some progress there. They're not there yet. Certainly, there has been plenty of frayed nerves along the way, plenty of those. But both sides are trying to get this thing done before the season starts. Today obviously will be a huge, huge day, the start of the game week. And the Cowboys would like him in sooner rather than later."

As his contract is currently constructed, Zeke is owed $3.853 million this season and $9.099 million on the fifth-year option in 2020, according to NFL.com. The league's highest-paid running back, Todd Gurley, earns $14.375 million annually as part of his $57.5M deal.

Last season, his third in the NFL, Elliott led the league in rushing with 1,434 yards on the ground to go along with 567 receiving yards, and nine total touchdowns. In his absence, the Cowboys will be rolling with Tony Pollard as their starting RB.