Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games ⋆
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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games

Ezekiel Elliott

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Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games

The NFL has suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games, the long-awaited ruling on an investigation into domestic violence allegations that has lasted for over a year.

The domestic violence accusations came from a former girlfriend of Elliott’s who has twice claimed that Zeke physically abused her. The credibility of the accuser has been in question, though, from evidence that she was lying and asking friends to do the same. Elliott has explained that the woman is bitter over their relationship and trying to hurt him in the public eye.

Even if the domestic issue was entirely false, Zeke’s had some other problems and hits to his reputation. He was seen at a marijuana dispensary in Seattle during the 2016 preseason, which isn’t illegal in the state of Washington but still a bad look given the league’s policy on cannabis.

Last March, Zeke was caught on camera briefly lifting a female friend’s shirt up during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. It quickly became clear that this was in keeping with their relationship, but still poor judgment in Elliott’s part given the ongoing domestic violence investigation.

Elliott also received a speeding ticket for going 100 mph on a 70 mph highway in April. In July, he was at a nightclub where a fight occurred and police were called in. It was initially rumored that he’d been involved in the altercation, but that was never confirmed or charged officially.

To see the NFL’s letter to Elliott explaining their ruling, click here.

Ezekiel Elliott

RB Ezekiel Elliott

The wait for the NFL’s initial ruling is over, but the fight may have only just begun for Zeke and the league. He does have the right to appeal the suspension, the process for which was outlined by sports attorney Daniel Wallach on Twitter:

Daniel Wallach on Twitter

Elliott must file his appeal within 3 business days, and #NFL would then have 10 days to conduct a hearing. https://t.co/SU7ecnLnlC

The idea has been out there that Elliott and the Cowboys might use the appeal process strategically. Zeke’s suspension is not enforced while under appeal, meaning he can keep playing until it’s over. Even if they don’t believe the suspension would be reduced, keeping Elliott available for the season opener against the New York Giants makes a lot of sense.

Based on the timeline provided by Wallach, the NFL’s internal appeal process would be done by August 29th or 30th (depending on if today counts as one of the three days to file appeal). The Giants will be here on September 10th. Obviously, that doesn’t work.

However, Elliott could then seek an injunction against the NFL and take his fight to the courts. The effect would be the same; Zeke could keep playing while the process plays out through the legal system. As we saw with Tom Brady, that could potentially delay things for an entire year.

Darren McFadden

Darren McFadden

There is always the potential, though, that Zeke doesn’t want to go through all of this and will just accept the suspension. If so, Dallas will likely be looking to Darren McFadden as they did in 2015. Even with Tony Romo out of the year and no real passing threat from Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden, or Kellen Moore, McFadden still had over 1,000 yards on the ground and 300 receiving.  With Dak Prescott under center, McFadden could conceivably do even more.

That said, McFadden was 28 then and turns 30 in a few weeks. That’s a long time in RB years. Thankfully, the Cowboys still have Alfred Morris and the emerging Rod Smith to help lighten the load. We may see more of a rotation during Zeke’s absence than we’re used to from recent seasons.

What the Cowboys do next depends on Ezekiel Elliott. Will he appeal? How far will he take that fight? I hate to say it after all this time, but we’re still in wait-and-see mode.

Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

7 Comments
  • Assassin

    This is nutz. Ray Rice gets caught on video beating his wife and was suspended 4 less games than Zeke. Josh Brown ADMITS to repeatedly beating his wife and gets five games less

    • Charles

      Not to mention that 2 of 4 board members could definitely be biased. Former Attorney General of New Jersey and former Federal Prosecutor who is an admitted rabid Giants fan. I smell conspiracy. Mara is happy for sure.

  • George_Johnson

    There is more to the story and the NFL needs to release the details. Otherwise it seems unfair. It isn’t just Zeke that is impacted but the Cowboy nation. They want answers and the NFL’s credibility is on the line. In order to punish someone you need to have conclusive and reasonable evidence. What is that evidence? If you just have a possibility or even probability, then you don’t go forward with the punishment even though there is a possibility he is guilty.

    • Russ_Te

      ESPN’s article today went into what the NFL obtained for it’s conclusions. Interviews of both parties, text messages, injury pics it said meta-dated to the time frame involved. It seems to have ignored that witnesses heard the woman threaten to ruin EE’s career, one reason the police did not charge.

      So if you run your own CSI shop and you are going to disregard police conclusions – and you decide he did it – then why is it only 6 games? Are you weak on DV, or are you rather on shaky ground with the whole endeavor…

  • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Hate to say it, but it does look like Zeke is receiving a harsher punishment for an accusation than others did for confirmed acts (thanks to @disqus_hGvt5tR9jw:disqus for the details). I’ve read the leaked letter to Elliott from NFL counsel and it doesn’t fully jive. This whole thing has been a joke from the start and the punchline didn’t help matters. Do better, NFL.

  • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Editor’s Note: A link to the letter from NFL counsel was added to the article for better understanding of the situation.

  • Russ_Te

    The NFL is on to new & legally shaky ground when it re-doubles a police investigation, takes a year on it, and reaches sharply different conclusions based upon a lesser threshold of evidence. It is as if IT has sued Elliott civilly after he was exonerated criminally.

    Add in that the NFL seems to be changing it’s standards on DV allegations depending on how much public backlash it is getting, and now Goodell is way off the ranch IMO. I expect the appeal will produce a reduction to 3 games, Elliott will sue the league over that loss of income, and win.

    I will concede the guy is immature and needs a team chaperone mechanism, not unlike the one Dez needed. But the league is imposing a form of double-jeopardy by being it’s own CSI unit now. They need to lose in court on this & Goodell then shown the door.

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