The Date to Know in the Zeke Holdout

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By Pat Doney

Published Jul 26, 2019 at 5:12 PM | Updated at 6:05 PM CDT on Jul 26, 2019

If Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott does not arrive in Oxnard by Aug. 6 it may be a while before he shows up. (Published Friday, July 26, 2019)

There is one potential date you need to know in the Ezekiel Elliott holdout from training camp while the Cowboys star running back tries to land a new contract with Dallas.

That date is Aug. 6, and here's why it matters.

If the Cowboys and Zeke cannot come to a contract extension agreement in the next two years – and he is under contract with Dallas for two more years – he would obviously want to become an unrestricted free agent at that point.

That would allow him the opportunity to get as much money as he possibly can on the free market. That makes sense.

But, under the collective bargaining agreement, a player needs to have four years of service to become a free agent in the NFL. And this is the important part -- in order for a season to count toward a player's "years of service," that player has to be at training camp 30 days before the regular season begins.

So, if Elliott does not arrive in Oxnard by Aug. 6 – which is 30 days before the Cowboys first game against the Giants – that means this year will not count as one of his four seasons of service, even if he shows up later in the month and plays all 16 regular season games.

Zeke only has three years of service. So if he holds out this summer, that means – if he's still seeking a new contract next summer, he will not be able to hold out then – or he will lose free agency.

In other words, he can do a long hold out this year or next year but not both.

Which is why Aug. 6 is the date to watch. If Zeke does not arrive in California by that date, he likely will not be showing up to play for the Cowboys for a long time this season.
 

Iamtdg

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One more reason why holding out this year would be colossally stupid.
 

pdom

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Dude just needs another week for the weed to flush out his system.
 

L.T. Fan

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Yep. This kids head is much bigger than his hair. Some may think he is doing the right thing but if that were so why enter into another contract with him. He isn’t even keeping the terms of his current one.
 

deadrise

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There aren't many players you could say this about, but without Zeke, Jerry can kiss this season good-bye.

Zeke is first downs when you need them, Zeke is a threat to break a big play anytime, Zeke is a really good pass blocker, Zeke is a pretty damn good receiver. Zeke takes pressure off Dak. Take all those things away and you're looking at an 8 - 8 season, at best. That's Zeke's leverage.

It's a game of chicken. See who blinks first.
 

L.T. Fan

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There aren't many players you could say this about, but without Zeke, Jerry can kiss this season good-bye.

Zeke is first downs when you need them, Zeke is a threat to break a big play anytime, Zeke is a really good pass blocker, Zeke is a pretty damn good receiver. Zeke takes pressure off Dak. Take all those things away and you're looking at an 8 - 8 season, at best. That's Zeke's leverage.

It's a game of chicken. See who blinks first.
Unless Zeke can take this team to the SB then he has no one over the barrel. Unless Jones believes he can then Elliot has no leverage because that would be the only reason why Jones should meet his demands. The Cowboys can have a decent season with a lot of RBs but unless Elliot is the savior I would tell him to keep on holding out and fine him to get some of the money back.
 

1bigfan13

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But, under the collective bargaining agreement, a player needs to have four years of service to become a free agent in the NFL. And this is the important part -- in order for a season to count toward a player's "years of service," that player has to be at training camp 30 days before the regular season begins.

For some reason I thought players could hold out into the the regular season, around week 6 or 7, and still receive credit for a year of service.

I seem to remember that being the case for some recent holdouts.
 

1bigfan13

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Just looked it up and what I was thinking of only applies to unsigned players who've had the franchise tag placed on them. Players in that category have to play at least six games to receive credit for a year of service.
 

Cowboysrock55

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Unless Zeke can take this team to the SB then he has no one over the barrel. Unless Jones believes he can then Elliot has no leverage because that would be the only reason why Jones should meet his demands. The Cowboys can have a decent season with a lot of RBs but unless Elliot is the savior I would tell him to keep on holding out and fine him to get some of the money back.
I tend to agree with you. And the holdout wouldn't give me extra motivation to get a deal done. If anything that's a bit of a turnoff to me. Unfortunately Jerry doesn't think that way. It's why he has already sent an offer over and I expect Zeke to get a new deal before the start of the season.
 

Cowboysrock55

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For some reason I thought players could hold out into the the regular season, around week 6 or 7, and still receive credit for a year of service.

I seem to remember that being the case for some recent holdouts.
Yep, Zeke can hold out until he is blue in the face and it won't get him any closer to free agency.
 

Iamtdg

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Just looked it up and what I was thinking of only applies to unsigned players who've had the franchise tag placed on them. Players in that category have to play at least six games to receive credit for a year of service.
Players have to be in camp for a certain amount of time before the first game to get a year of FA eligibility. If Zeke comes to camp too late this season will not count towards UFA.
 

Iamtdg

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For those that don’t know, you have to have 4 years of active play time after being drafted before you’re eligible for UFA. Holding out can hamper that with deadlines like I illustrated above.
 

Cowboysrock55

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For those that don’t know, you have to have 4 years of active play time after being drafted before you’re eligible for UFA. Holding out can hamper that with deadlines like I illustrated above.
It's why Jaylon Smith won't hit free agency when his contract expires. He will be restricted.
 

Rev

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Players have to be in camp for a certain amount of time before the first game to get a year of FA eligibility. If Zeke comes to camp too late this season will not count towards UFA.
I'm sure his agent has made him aware of any of these dates. He needs to get his due while he still can. Otherwise the team will just run him into the ground and then use it against him in negotiations. Just a position that isn't valued like it once was. Players of his caliber don't grow on trees either.
 

Simpleton

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I've been in favor of extending him now rather than later for a while, so I'm hoping it happens. The holdout isn't really the impetus for an extension in my mind, but the fact that it's strategically the right thing to do if the plan is to eventually extend him, which is clearly the case given the comments from Stephen, etc. over the last few months.
 

deadrise

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Unless Zeke can take this team to the SB then he has no one over the barrel. Unless Jones believes he can then Elliot has no leverage because that would be the only reason why Jones should meet his demands. The Cowboys can have a decent season with a lot of RBs but unless Elliot is the savior I would tell him to keep on holding out and fine him to get some of the money back.

There's no guarantee that Zeke takes them to the SB. But it's almost a lock that they won't sniff a SB without him. And Jerry's getting too old for "decent seasons." Nobody gives a shit if your season was "decent."
 

deadrise

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I'm sure his agent has made him aware of any of these dates. He needs to get his due while he still can. Otherwise the team will just run him into the ground and then use it against him in negotiations. Just a position that isn't valued like it once was. Players of his caliber don't grow on trees either.
Yeah. I think his agent is probably very familiar with all the rules and dates. No doubt he and Zeke have discussed them at length. All these posts offering revelations about deadlines, etc., like Zeke's agent somehow overlooked them.
 

Cowboysrock55

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Yeah. I think his agent is probably very familiar with all the rules and dates. No doubt he and Zeke have discussed them at length. All these posts offering revelations about deadlines, etc., like Zeke's agent somehow overlooked them.
It's because the agent is banking on getting a deal done. If they get an extension done none of the dates really matter.
 
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