The Dallas Cowboys are set to play their third preseason game Saturday night, and Ezekiel Elliott is still nowhere in sight. The running back has held out for the entirety of training camp, seeking a new contract for the start of the 2019 NFL season.

Despite rumors that Elliott won’t play if he doesn’t get an extension, the two-time Pro Bowler appears likely to be uniform for the Cowboys in Week 1.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said on “Get Up!” Thursday morning that he’s been told to expect Elliott and Dallas to agree on a new contract before the regular season begins. The Cowboys open the season at home against the New York Giants on Sunday, Sept. 8.

Other NFL insiders have echoed a similar sentiment throughout the preseason. 

Dak Prescott Ezekiel Elliott Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after running for a first down with Dak Prescott #4 in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at AT&T Stadium on November 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

When ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Elliott wouldn’t play without a new deal, she noted that Elliott’s holdout was unlikely to continue into the regular season. ESPN’s Ed Werder said on “The Dan Patrick Show” last week that he believes owner Jerry Jones recognizes he has to sign Elliott to a new contract before Week 1. 

Elliott still has two years and $12.9 million left on his contract. For that reason, Darlington noted the running back might agree to a deal that’s worth less than the record-setting $57.5 million deal Todd Gurley received last summer. 

Elliott has reportedly been looking to become the highest-paid running back of all time. He could sign a contract that falls short of Gurley’s deal but surpasses the $52.5 million Le’Veon Bell received from the New York Jets this past offseason.

Elliott can’t sit out the entire season and become a free agent, which Bell did a year ago. 

Fourth-round draft pick Tony Pollard is on track to become Dallas’ starting running back in the event that Elliott doesn’t return for Week 1. The rookie has rushed for 58 yards on nine attempts in two preseason games.

The Cowboys signed linebacker Jaylon Smith to a contract extension this week. Quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are both set to hit free agency after 2019 and looking to sign extensions with Dallas.