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Finish The Fight: Ezekiel Elliott’s Fight With NFL Just Beginning

Brian Martin

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Ezekiel Elliott

One of the more important mantras the Dallas Cowboys have been known to go by here recently is “Finish The Fight”. That particular mantra is arguably more important now than it is ever been after Ezekiel Elliott, Jerry Jones, and the rest of Cowboys Nation learned of the NFL’s decision to slap Elliott with a six-game suspension. This fight is just beginning and you can bet Elliott and Jerry Jones are prepared to fight tooth and nail with the NFL and see this thing through to the end.

The NFL in their infinite wisdom decided to hand down a six-game suspension without pay to the 2016 leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, for the alleged violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. The key word here of course is “alleged”. The NFL claims their decision was justified because of their “general belief” that the victim was telling the truth in all matters pertaining to the domestic violence accusation.

Ezekiel Elliott as you can imagine is completely infuriated by the turn of events and probably feels like he’s been slapped in the face by the NFL. This seems to be just another case of the NFL hierarchies trying to flex their muscles and play judge, jury, and executioner. This is especially true considering the fact the Columbus (OH) criminal court dismissed all charges against Elliott back in the summer of 2016.

This fight is far from over, hence the reference to the Dallas Cowboys mantra “Finish The Fight” earlier in the article. Ezekiel Elliott and Jerry Jones are absolutely furious at the turn of events and are prepared to take whatever actions necessary in order to exonerate Elliott from any wrongdoings.

Charles Robinson on Twitter

I’m told #Cowboys Zeke Elliott is willing to take this whole suspension appeal through courts if he has to. This could drag out a long time.

The Dallas Cowboys second-year RB of course is not alone in this fight and has the full support of his owner Jerry Jones. In fact, the NFL should expect Jerry Jones to be on the warpath.

Patrik Walker on Twitter

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is ‘furious’ over Ezekiel Elliott verdict. (per @AdamSchefter)

What all this adds up to is a lengthy and probably ugly fight between Ezekiel Elliott/Dallas Cowboys and the NFL. There will be no simple solution and it could come down to a court ruling to finally get everything sorted out.

The only thing that I know for sure, is that we all need to buckle up and prepare ourselves for a long bumpy ride. It’s the only thing we can do as Ezekiel Elliott and Jerry Jones prepared to “Finish The Fight”.

How do you think this situation finally shakes out?

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Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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6 Comments
  • Charles

    He needs to fight this. Making an example of Zeke because of his popularity and the fact that he is a Dallas Cowboy. They had a chance to send a message when they had proof that Josh Brown was a spouse abuser. They had a chance to send a message with Pacman but he only got one game for assault and threatening a police officer. I’m quite sure Commissioner Mara…I meant to say Goodell is really proud of himself. No one is really talking about the fact that 2 of the 4 of the panel members are probably biased against the the Cowboys, especially the former prosecutor who is a die hard Giants fan.

  • Russ_Te

    If you read the letter from NFL to Elliott that was leaked, it’s written like they are positive of his guilt. I’m a Progressive politically and have always believed in full gender equality & voted for those candidates including Hillary Clinton.

    So it’s difficult to read that letter and imagine they could be right, and very uncomfortable for me to be a defender of someone possible guilty of domestic violence.

    But there is a gigantic problem with the NFL process. It is corrupted IMO and needs to be slapped down in court. The NFL is now it’s own crime investigative organization, and willing to contradict police findings. That’s sue-able.

    My argument from the other article:

    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…

  • Russ_Te

    And I think it will be challenged and beaten in court. And I agree it might get Goodell fired. He’s lost.

    Elliott is losing much more than game checks. He is being crucified now in the court of the national press. If you are a prominent sports star, you stand to make much more in endorsement deals than you do from your player contract.

    Elliott? No. That’s gone. And that’s why he will sue.

  • Suave Freddie

    I am SO glad that Jerry Jones & Family are all TICKED off by this decision. After all that Jerry Jones has done for the NFL. The NFL would not be what it is today with ALL that Jerry Jones has done. I hope that Goodell gets FIRED!! He is making a laughing stock of the NFL. This situation happened before Ezkiel Elliot was drafted. NFL should NOT any jurisdiction of what happened then. Also, how do you accuse someone of false accusations. His ex-girl girlfriend presented the information to the police of accusing Ezkiel falsely. The NFL is a BIG joke right now. The Dallas Cowboys brought the ratings up last year fo the NFL. The NFL’s ratings were very low, until they FLEXED Cowboys games. Chris Carter is no better person. He was involved with drugs & alcohol when he was in the NFL. Would would think someone like him would be more considerate for other players in the league. HE IS A POOR EXAMPLE IF WHAT THE NFL STANDS FOR!! No respect for him whatsoever. Hope & Pray Ezkiel comes out victorious and some NFL leaders get replaced!!

  • Don

    Good article Brian and I’m not sure why I’m getting this 2 days later then the rest but agree with all those commenting. I have no use for DV of any sort whether it’s my neighbor your neighbor Joe blow and especially these prima donna athletes. If he indeed did it then not 6 games ban out,kick him out. That sends the message loud and clear. BUT the NFL isn’t the law and I know they have their rules but this was clearly a matter that had been handled by the law and Zeke was completely exonerated..Goodell has been a blight to the NFL for a pretty good while now and like another said he’s probably headed to unemployment.Good riddance..Read today where Zeke’s dad said get ready we are Lawyer’d up and we know Jerry is as well..Now it just popped up on my phone saying Goodell had little to do with this investigation…REALLY…Yes my blood is Blue & Silver since 63′ but if he’s innocent of all this then the NFL needs a slap in the face. I believe he is and if not he’s got to go flip burgers with Randy Gregory…!

  • ThePsychodad69

    If the NFL investigator realizes she’s a flake, because the only pics on record are selfies after a bar fight at a party she wasn’t invited to, then follows him home, confronts Zeke and friends in parking lot. Throws a few threats his way before calling the police. A few texts to her friend asking for a felony. Just wonder why Zekes restraining order against her never came up until now, could be the deathblow to Goodells throne.

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Can Rico Gathers Make Cowboys Offense More “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Rico Gathers, Rams

The Dallas Cowboys unfortunately face all kinds of questions heading into the 2018 offseason. Right now, there are no answers to those questions, which means we’ll just have to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach. But, one question that absolutely has to be answered is how to make the Cowboys offense more Dak Prescott friendly.

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys had an extremely disappointing year in 2017. Suspensions and injuries are the main culprits for the disappointment, but the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really changed things much in the scheme or personnel to help Dak Prescott succeed.

The sad truth is, the Dallas Cowboys are still operating as if Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. It’s pretty much the same personnel and scheme, but it really doesn’t suit Prescott.

It’s time for that to change. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

The Cowboys spent years putting together the personnel to help Romo. Just when they thought they had the missing piece — by drafting Ezekiel Elliott, Romo sustained a back injury, pretty much ending his career.

Anyway you look at it, the offensive personnel needs to improve in order to make this team more “Dak-friendly”.

Enter Tight End Rico Gathers.

Rico Gathers

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

The Dallas Cowboys have invested two years in Rico Gathers’ development, but with the exception of a few flashes in preseason, they haven’t benefited from the fruits of their labor. The 2018 season should be Gathers’ coming-out party.

We all witnessed what the Cowboys offense looks like when they are forced to rely on the passing game. Dak Prescott struggled to find any kind of consistency throwing the ball — with the options he had at his disposal in 2017 — while Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension.

Defenses decided to take Prescott’s favorite target out of the equation by bracketing Cole Beasley in coverage. Then, they also devoted extra attention Dez Bryant‘s way, making it difficult to get him the ball.

The only other option left really was Jason Witten on simple check downs.

And that is what the future Hall of Famer has been reduced to.

Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was. Yes, he is still a reliable target, but his age is starting to catch up to him, which has unfortunately robbed him of some of his athleticism. We will no longer see Witten stretch the field down the seam, or run many routes further than 10 yards.

That’s why I think Rico Gathers could be a difference maker in 2018, especially for Dak Prescott.

Prescott needs more than an outlet receiver at the TE position. No offense to Jason Witten, but that’s pretty much what he has become at this point in his career.

Rico Gathers on the other hand is not only different from Witten, but also provides a different skill set than any other TE on the Cowboys roster. He’s a big target with athleticism, who cannot only move the chains, but stretch the field and break tackles in the open field.

Gathers’ sheer size alone creates mismatch problems against smaller defensive backs and linebackers, but his athleticism should allow him to create separation, something which fits into what Prescott needs from his receivers.

There is no reason why the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff can’t find a way to incorporate Rico Gathers’ unique skill set into the offense. They may not truly trust him to be an every down player, but that’s not happening anyway, not with Jason Witten on the roster.

If it was me, I would have a few packages in the playbook specifically designed for Gathers. I not only think this will help him grow as a player, but help the Cowboys offense become more “Dak-friendly”.

Can Rico Gathers make the Cowboys offense more “Dak-friendly”?

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