Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had many messages for his players during the first training camp meeting on Friday, but one of them was not Ezekiel Elliott's status.
"We really didn't address it at all," Garrett said of the running back's absence. "We talked to our team as if it were Day 1 and we [shared] what our expectations are, what they can expect from us and what we expect from them, what the schedules are and what we're going to do and how we're going to do it. That's a big part of Day 1 from the team basis, a macro basis. We do that by unit — offense, defense and the kicking game, and we do that by position. That's really what we talked about as a team. Everyone is focused on what they need to do to be the best player, coach or staff member, and that's really what we try to emphasize."
Elliott is holding out of training camp as he awaits a new contract. He is under contract through 2020 and is set to make $3.853 million this season and $9.09 million next season. The Cowboys and his agent have held negotiations but a deal is not close, a source tells ESPN. Each day Elliott misses he is subject to a fine of $40,000.
"He's a professional," running backs coach Gary Brown said. "I'm sure he's handling what he needs to handle as far as the football side goes. I'm sure he has his iPads and playbooks. I'm sure he's doing that. But as far as I'm going, I'm just worried about the guys here."
Brown said it is not his place to talk about a contract with Elliott. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who signed a five-year, $101 million deal in April that included $65 million guaranteed, did not have any advice for Elliott.