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.
Along with Harold Henderson saying no to Tiffany Thompson appearing in person, the appeals officer has also barred her notes & 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.