By Hollie McKay
Published August 22, 2019
As the clock ticks on whether or not the Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott will handshake on a deal before the NFL seasons kicks off, the star running back continues his daily golf sessions at the luxurious, 1500-acre private Diamante Los Cabos resort in Mexico.
According to an eyewitness, Elliott is staying at a private golf villa – designed by Tiger Woods – as he trains daily with a personal trainer and remains under security protection inside the confines of the resort. He is said to have been there for the last ten days.
“No one is allowed to reach him within the perimeter of 30 to 40 meters, no photos and no staff there can mention him,” one insider, who requested anonymity, told Fox News. “He is always in a cap and sunglasses.”
Elliott had reportedly gone to Mexico to train while his contract holdout with the Cowboys marched on.
In April, the Cowboys used their fifth-year option on Elliott, ensuring his payment would be the average of the top 10 running backs in 2020. However, Elliott reportedly seeks to be the highest-paid running back in the NFL -- a mark that is held by Los Angeles Rams star Todd Gurley, who commands $14.3 million per year.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones irked Elliott and the running back's agent over a comment he made after the team's preseason game against the Rams. He was talking about another Cowboys running back's production in the preseason when he was asked whether he had leverage in contract talks with Elliott.
Jones replied: "Zeke who?"
According to ESPN, Jones explained himself by saying he wanted the Cowboys star running back, who is holding out in hopes of getting a new contract, to know he was “cracking a joke at Zeke’s expense."
Two days later, Elliott’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told ESPN the “joke” didn’t sit well with his client.
“I didn't think it was funny and neither did Zeke -- we actually thought it was disrespectful,” Arceneaux said.
Jones responded to the controversy Wednesday, saying he's "earned the right" to joke about Elliott.
The team is poised to have an especially strong season – with Zeke often underscored by sports commentators as a key piece of that.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.