HONOLULU - We really don't know how much weight Ezekiel Elliott is carrying. But we now know how much of the Dallas Cowboys holdout running back's water is being carried by Adam Schefter.
OK, I'm only half-serious about the water-carrying bit. ESPN's Schefter offered up a slice of information that has some value as the Cowboys travel the globe without Elliott, who has been spending time in Cabo staying in shape -- and, I'd bet, mixing in a little social fun, too.
But maybe the fun is over, via what purports to be a photo of Elliott traveling on Friday on a flight from Mexico.
Let's advance the ball, though, and tell you this: A source close to the negotiations tells me that regardless of Zeke's travel plans, they should not be taken as any indication that there is significant movement in contract talks.
Maybe, instead, it's about "optics.'' Elliott on the West Coast while his teammates are? Fine. Elliott staying in Cabo while teammates are about to resume work in Frisco? Maybe not fine.
Now to Schefter's report, which frankly reads like a press release crafted by agent Rocky Arceneaux. To wit:
"While he is away from the Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott’s weight is in the low 220s, the lowest it has been since his rookie year, per source. If and when the two sides can work out a deal, Elliott will be all ready to go.''
There is, obviously, no way a sportswriter in Bristol can guarantee that Zeke "will be all ready to go,'' though in fairness, the Cowboys themselves think the same. (Their thoughts are based largely on Elliott's Cabo track record; he spend part of his six-game suspension at Arceneaux's property in Cabo and absolutely focused on fitness there before returning and immediately producing on the field.)
Said owner Jerry Jones: “Zeke has the ability to completely hit the ground running ... He has that and we expect that. He says that, and I believe him, that he’s in great shape. I don’t think that will be an issue when he does come back.”
What about the specifics of Elliott's weight? Much is being made of this as ESPN uses the phrase "low 220's.''
So what does that mean? Back in April, apparently to answer critics who wondered about his condition, Zeke hopped on a scale and used social media to demonstrate that he was somewhere between 229 and 230.
So now he's in the "low 220's'' ... and as that might mean "224'' ... maybe meaning that in the last four months he's dropped ... four or five pounds?
If that's so, is it really headline-worthy?
It also strikes me as odd that Schefter insists that Zeke's weight is "the lowest it has been since his rookie year.'' Hmm, sounds impressive.
Except ... As Elliott was leaving Ohio State and coming into the NFL, his listed weight was 225. His listed weight last year for the Cowboys was 228.
So what are we really talking about? Five pounds? four pounds? three pounds?
Schefter writes as if Elliott signing an extension with Dallas is "iffy,'' and I disagree with that, too. There can be common ground in these talks, and it can be found before the NFL season-opener. I still believe that a compromise is more likely than Elliott missing a bunch of weekly game checks worth $226,000 each.
Because that would be a way for Zeke to lose way more than just a couple of pounds.