DALLAS — Ezekiel Elliott is back in Texas and ready to play football.

The Dallas Cowboys running back arrived at DFW Airport from Mexico on Tuesday afternoon with reports swirling that he and the team are close to agreeing on a multi-year contract.

Elliott’s agent Rocky Arceneaux, who was traveling with him, said a deal is “close.”

Elliott was asked is he expects to play on Sunday when the Cowboys open the season against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium.

“If I have a deal,” he said.

Later, between signing autographs and posing for selfies with fans, Elliott was asked if he was ready to play.

“I’ve been ready,” he said. He ignored repeated requests to respond to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ “Zeke who?” quip from three weeks ago.

Arceneaux said a deal is “very, very close.”

“I think Zeke showed his commitment by coming back to Dallas,” he said. “We didn’t come here not to do a deal. I think he’s committed and both sides are.”

• The  Cowboys and right tackle La’el Collins have agreed on a new contract. The deal signed Tuesday is for $50 million over five years with $35 million guaranteed. It’s the second extension Collins and the Cowboys have negotiated since he chose them as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

Collins was expected to be a high pick in the draft when his name surfaced in a police investigation into the shooting death of a woman the former LSU player knew in his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Collins was cleared in the case, but the timing cost him millions. Now his career earnings are set to surpass $50 million after two years at right tackle.

BENGALS: Cincinnati signed running back Giovani Bernard to a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season.

Bernard, a second-round draft pick in 2013 who could have become a free agent after this season, has been used to complement Joe Mixon. Last season, he carried 56 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 218 yards.

Bernard is second in Bengals history for catches (265) and yards receiving (2,278) by a running back, trailing James Brooks. Bernard set a team record for a Bengals running back with 218 yards receiving against Arizona in 2015. He also has the second-longest touchdown run in club history, 89 yards against Carolina in 2014.

BEARS: Chicago unveiled statues of Walter Payton and George Halas at Soldier Field, two days before the team opens with a home game against Green Bay.

Each 12-foot statue is 3,000 pounds. One shows Payton, the Hall of Fame running back who died in1999 at the age of 45 from cancer, and the other is of Halas, the team’s founder, owner and head coach who led the franchise to six NFL titles. Halas died in 1983 at the age of 88.

The two were honored Tuesday during a ceremony that included Halas’ daughter, Virginia Halas McCaskey, Payton’s children, Jarrett and Brittney and former Bears Coach Mike Ditka.

• Bears tight end Trey Burton was limited again in practice Tuesday and Coach Matt Nagy said it will be “pretty much a game-time decision” whether Burton will play against Green Bay after he suffered a minor groin strain last week

CHARGERS: Los Angeles extended Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey’s contract through the 2020 season. Pouncey was in the final season of a two-year, $15 million contract. The extension will be worth $9 million next season.

LIONS: Detroit released wide receiver Andy Jones from injured reserve Jones played in eight games last season for Detroit and made three starts. He had 11 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown.

JETS: New York promoted longtime executive Hymie Elhai to team president. Elhai is in his 20th year with the franchise and spent the last five as the Jets’ senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel. He takes over for Neil Glat, who stepped down last Friday and will be a senior adviser with the team.

Comments are not available on this story.