Cowboys' running back Ezekiel Elliott is set to suit up and play for the first time in 2017 tomorrow against the Oakland Raiders at home. As I wrote earlier today, this playing time could offer a short distraction from a suspension saga that has calmed down ahead of an August 29th appeal hearing.
Harold Henderson will hear Ezekiel Elliott's appeal, and it has now been made known that he's refused to force Tiffany Thompson to be present for this Tuesday hearing - along with barring Thompson's notes and interviews.
This is massive news for Elliott and the Cowboys, as the basis of their criticism against the league's six game suspension handed his way has been based on now very-public evidence that Tiffany Thompson was trying to set Elliott up with these domestic violence charges.
The term that's been attached to this fight from the start between the NFL and the Cowboys has been war. As the Cowboys' general, Jerry Jones has been surprisingly quiet through this, saying recently that he's still gathering his thoughts on the situation.
Jones of course knows that, in warfare, shots are taken on both sides. His star running back is far from entirely innocent, as Zeke's lapses in judgment have come early and often enough in his career to warrant a suspension for "conduct detrimental to the league".
Will Tuesday's appeal hearing be anything more than a further slap on the wrist for Elliott, that he believes justly deserves due process in the court of law as retaliation?
Elliott's suspension is not purely based in domestic violence, which may be the reason that Henderson prefers Thompson remains absent for this appeal hearing. Ezekiel will attend in person on Tuesday, entering at a much lower position of authority it seems without a fair chance to prove his innocence against accusations of violence against Thompson.
Remember the NFL Investigator who is a "Rabid Giants Fan," Lisa Friel? Even SHE took Zeke's side. She found the "victim" to not be credible.
This is not to say that Elliott's suspension won't be reduced on Tuesday, as Henderson did reduce former Cowboys DE Greg Hardy's suspension from ten games down to four in 2015.
"Will six games be “simply too much” for Ezekiel Elliott given that the NFL suspended him for “conduct detrimental to the league”, for which at this point he is just as guilty of as the very league itself through their handling of this?"
This quote comes from my original announcement that Harold Henderson would hear Elliott's appeal, and both questions still stand with this fast-approaching hearing looking like nothing but a small speed bump on the way towards this case ending up in court where Thompson, and presumably Jerry Jones, can reenter the picture and keep Ezekiel on the field - at least delaying the battles the Cowboys will have to fight without their bell cow on the field while a war atop the NFL unfolds over this all.
Tiffany Thompson has yet to be placed under oath through *any* of this. Not once. Court is inevitable, it is 100% the next step for Elliott.
5 Dallas Cowboys Make 2019 Pro Bowl Roster
The Dallas Cowboys will be well represented in the 2019 Pro Bowl. Last night, five players were named to the NFC roster: RB Ezekiel Elliott, OT Tyron Smith, G Zack Martin, DE DeMarcus Lawrence, and CB Byron Jones.
Dallas tied the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints for the most players to the NFC team. However, the Los Angeles Chargers led all teams with seven players making the AFC squad. The Chiefs and Steelers had six players each.
Congratulations to #DallasCowboys @Byron31Jump, Tyron Smith, @TankLawrence, @thegob70 and @EzekielElliott who are #ProBowl Bound!
Byron Jones is the only first-time Pro Bowler among the Cowboys. He's been one of the best cornerbacks in football this year, switching back to the position after a few years playing safety.
This will be the second-straight Pro Bowl for DeMarcus Lawrence, who remains among the league's most feared pass rushers. It's also the second trip for Ezekiel Elliott, who went as a rookie but missed last year's game with his suspension issues.
Pro Bowl fixtures Tyron Smith and Zack Martin return for the sixth and fifth-straight years, respectively. For Martin, it preserves his streak of making the team every year since he came into the NFL.
Even with these five players being named, you could argue that Dallas deserved a couple more. Rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch has been one of the top defensive players in the league this year. And WR Amari Cooper, once he got to Dallas, has been as productive as any receiver in football.
That aside, congratulations to Zeke, Tyron, Zack, Tank, and Byron for making this year's team!
Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense
For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.
Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.
He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.
During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.
Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.
With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.
Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.
Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018
For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.
After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote
As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.
Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.
Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.
His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!
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