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What to Make of Ezekiel Elliott Suspension Rumors

Jess Haynie

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Ezekiel Elliott

As you've likely heard already, there are rumors floating over the last 24 hours about Ezekiel Elliott facing a minor suspension in 2017. While we at Inside The Star don't put much stock in the rumors at this time, it's out there and we need to take a look at it.

While nothing has come from the NFL or the Dallas Cowboys about Elliott missing games, those good ol' "sources" are citing Zeke's alleged domestic violence incident from 2016 as the basis for the suspension.  The NFL has been investigating this matter for almost a year now with no reported updates.

Ezekiel Elliott

RB Ezekiel Elliott

The first ripples in the water started Thursday evening with this Tweet from actor and sports enthusiast Michael Rapaport, who does work with Barstool Sports and has appeared many times on podcasts and other media with "The Sports Guy" Bill Simmons.

MichaelRapaport on Twitter

Sources are telling Zeke Elliot getting suspended for weed & Melo trade is going down today.

While it appears Michael was wrong on both fronts, it's interesting that his tweet came just hours before the Elliott rumors really got cooking. How marijuana got into the picture is unknown, but perhaps the source heard about a Cowboys player being suspended and just assumed it would be weed-related. Given Dallas' recent history, that wouldn't be the worst guess.

Things really heated up when the rumors started being reported yesterday by ESPN's Adam Schefter and other more established NFL news breakers. Now domestic violence and the ongoing investigation entered the picture.

The NFL's domestic violence and personal conduct policies make this a much bigger concern than a drug suspension. Even without a court finding or filed charges, the NFL can still suspend a player if they simply believe something happened. We saw this happen with Greg Hardy just two years ago.

According to ESPN, Elliott is preparing for the worst. With how long things have dragged on, there's a sense that the NFL is desperate to pin something on one of the brightest stars from its most popular franchise. What better way to send a message:

"Here, watch us drop the hammer on a superstar running back. That makes up for what happened with the other running back a few years ago, right? Right?!"

To be fair, the NFL may have some form of evidence that will eventually have a lot of us eating crow. But it's hard to fathom why the league would just keep sitting on any concrete evidence about domestic violence. The only reason I can come up with is that they don't want to repeat the botched handling of Ray Rice, passing one sentence and then having to revise it when new information was made public.

Many Cowboys fans and analysts, including this site, are skeptical. One noted Cowboys reporter made it clear, with these and many other comments yesterday, how he feels:

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

ALERT: Source tells @1053thefan the #Cowboys front office 'is not aware' of a coming @EzekielElliott suspension. Monitoring ...

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

It would also explain why @AdamSchefter report has more 'coulds,' 'almosts,' 'maybes,' 'kindas' & 'ifs' than my college dating life. https://t.co/q7AS740J83

As we all know, NFL media is desperate for things to report in the doldrums of early summer. While we're not saying that this Elliott story was totally manufactured, did something get blown way out of proportion in that hunger for content? Did a simple comment or speculation become "source" material?

The best thing to do right now, and really all we can do, is wait. Given all the smoke that's now been created, the league may be forced to conclude its investigation before the season starts in less than two months. They don't want to deal with the negative press of having still not resolved this.

What that resolution will mean for Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys is our concern at this moment, but let's be clear; we're giving Zeke benefit of the doubt right now. We're giving him the supportive assumption of innocence based on a current lack of evidence and the questionable credibility of his accuser.

If domestic violence is actually proven, and rumors turn into facts, then things change. But the NFL's poor handling of past issues, and the ever-desperate nature of NFL media during these summer months, make them the less believable parties at this time.



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!

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8 Comments
  • StupidPeopleCrackMeUp

    NFL should’ve been taken care of this situation but now want to wait for the season to start and still can’t give us a definite answer..if there is no proof after all this investigating leave this man alone and let him play football #DC4L

  • Mauricio Rodriguez

    Man, we miss football through all of the offseason and we long for NFL news. But I appreciate more having no news at this point. No news is good news.
    The NFL is either hunting Zeke or doing him a favor by scaring him. If I had to guess, I think they are trying to suspend him though.

    • John Williams

      Yeah, my hope is that this is a scare tactic.

  • ThePsychodad69

    Here’s a link to all the police reportstexts from her friends phone…

    http://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/323284084/Ezekiel-Elliott-case#from_embed

    Basically her “Gravy Train” was over and she didn’t like it.

    If he gets suspended, every swinging duck in the NFL will be at risk to blackmail. Just remember fellas, psychos come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone remember Steve McNair?

    • Don

      I just read the report you posted. This even makes the NFL look even worse for not wrapping this up already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

    All we have is speculation so far and darn few facts.

    So let me add to the speculation: I think Zeke is paying for the price for the NFL’s lack of due diligence in the Ray Rice case. The NFL doesn’t want a repeat of that episode, so they are dragging this out as long as possible to give the appearance they are “doing something”.

    I don’t condone domestic violence in any way, but this “investigation” sure looks like a fishing expedition to me.

  • Don

    Well I aired my thoughts on this yesterday on Sean Martins story and his wasn’t even about Zeke. This NFL investigation is pure bogus BS and a joke. If they can’t scrounge up something in over a year to fuel their reasons for discipline then there must not be anything there. The police found nothing and if this is all because of their Ray Rice botching those are totally different situations with video and arrests. Move on…

  • John Williams

    I usually trust Fish when it comes to stuff like this. While a lot of people tend to overreact and freak out a bit when it comes to suspensions, Fish goes to the source and gets the info.

    His tweets make the most sense to me.

    I get it that the NFL has to protect it’s public image, but it seems to me that they go to far sometimes.

    As one person said, maybe it was Marcus Mosher, they may end up with a big race issue on their hands if Elliott gets more of a suspension than Josh Brown from the Giants.

    The fact that a suspension is even being discussed at this point seems ridiculous. Though they don’t need proof that he broke the law to act in the best interest of the league. Just silly that the union will let them get away with it.

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Oakland Raiders’ Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block

John Williams

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Oakland Raiders' Wide Receiver Amari Cooper On the Trade Block

Aside from Wide Receiver Cole Beasley, the Dallas Cowboys haven't received much production from their wide receiver group outside of the occasional big play from fellow wide outs Michael Gallup or Tavon Austin. Well, the Oakland Raiders apparently are willing to listen to offers for Wide Receiver Amari Cooper and, according to Michael Rapaport, are asking for a first round draft pick in return.

Allan Bell on Twitter

Raiders want a first round pick for Amari Cooper, per @RapSheet.

 

The Dallas Cowboys could use someone with Cooper's ability, even if he has been a drop machine through his first four seasons. In his first two seasons in the NFL, 2015 and 2016, Cooper averaged 77 receptions on 131 targets, for 1,111.5 yards, and 5.5 touchdowns. Through his first three seasons in the NFL, Cooper averaged 11 drops a season, including 18 in his rookie season.

Any time you start a discussion about whether you should trade for someone, the question always begins with "what are you paying?" What would you be willing to pay for Amari Cooper? After back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons to start his career, he only went for 680 yards in 14 games (48.6 yards per game). Though the yardage wasn't great last year, he did catch seven touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders.

So far in 2018, Cooper is averaging 46.7 yards per game on 3.67 receptions per game and has only scored one touchdown.

I wouldn't send a top 60 pick for Amari Cooper. He's a good player, but is he better than what Michael Gallup could be? Because if you trade for Cooper he's going to likely eat into Gallup's snap count and we need to find out if Michal Gallup is a player that the Dallas Cowboys could rely on in the future. But, if the Cowboys coaching staff brought Cooper in to replace Allen Hurns, then I'd be very happy to talk about acquiring the former first round draft choice.

A starting wide receiver group of Cole Beasley, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup would be a very difficult group to cover and Quarterback Dak Prescott showed on Sunday that he has what it takes to get the ball down field to his receivers.

The Cowboys probably wouldn't make this trade, unless Jerry Jones got involved, because they value their draft picks too much, but if the Dallas Cowboys could get him for a third round pick I'd do it in a heart beat. For a second round pick, I'd have to get a fifth or sixth back from Oakland in that deal. Cooper's a good player, but hasn't shown to be one of the best at his position.

There are a couple other players from Oakland that I'm more interested in trading for.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

What do you think? Would you trade for Amari Cooper, and if so, what would you be willing to give?

 



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David Irving Ready to “Be Put Through Ringer” in First Action with Cowboys

Sean Martin

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David Irving Ready to "Be Put Through Ringer" in First Action with Cowboys
(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

The Dallas Cowboys patience in Defensive Tackle David Irving is set to pay off on Sunday, as Irving will play in his first game of 2018 after being suspended for the first four weeks. Irving was eligible to play last week in the Cowboys overtime loss at the Texans, but did not make the trip to Houston as he dealt with off-field concerns.

The Cowboys defense has performed admirably without Irving, but in a needed game against the Jaguars, it could be up to this defense to win the game for Dallas - something a disruptive player like Irving has the ability to do on any given snap.

While the plan is for the Cowboys to ease Irving into this game, his impact from the DT position might be enough to leave him on the field as much as needed in a tight game.

Kate Hairopoulos on Twitter

Irving said the coaches want to play him 10-15 snaps Sunday. "That's what they say now but if it's a close game, I know good and well Marinelli is going to be sending me out there & putting me through the ringer. I'm ready for it.

Like a good left-handed pitcher in baseball or three-point specialist in basketball, the Cowboys have afforded Irving a long leash despite his unreliability thanks to a 6'7" and 290 pound frame that makes him a menace for opposing guards.

The 3T-DT position is a pivotal one in Marinelli's scheme, and one the Cowboys have afforded Irving every opportunity to fill, yielding results whenever the former Chiefs practice squad steal suits up.

Filling in for Irving through the Cowboys first five games of the season has been reliable veteran Tyrone Crawford. Expected to play at defensive end this season, Crawford has recorded 14 tackles and one sack from the 3T position.

With Irving back in the "Hot Boyz" rotation, it will be interesting to see if Crawford once again goes out to right defensive end, where Randy Gregory has struggled to make the most out of his own return from suspension.

Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli is not expecting similar struggles from Irving, prepared to put him "through the ringer".

Where Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard calls the Cowboys defense, Marinelli is still one of the most respected coaches at The Star, demanding a lot of his defensive line in particular. It's the pairing of Marinelli's motivation and Irving's intangibles that have the Cowboys defense on the brink of taking another step toward's one of the league's best.

With their own offense set to line up against perhaps the best overall defense in Jacksonville on Sunday, Irving's return is just in time. The NFC East is far from out of reach for the Cowboys, who will be at full strength on defense once Sean Lee returns as early as next week.

The Cowboys have never lost a game in which Lee, Irving, and Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence play at least 20% of the team's snaps on defense. Perhaps this stat will have to be adjusted to include rookie Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in short time, but for now the Cowboys are hours away from fighting for a 3-3 start to 2018, doing so with one of their most important defenders back in the lineup.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Ready to “Be Put Through Ringer” in First Action with Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Dak Prescott is the Leader the Cowboys Need Right Now

John Williams

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

The Dallas Cowboys (2-3) get set to face a Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) squad that has one of the best defenses in the NFL, which leaves few believing that America's Team will see a turn around on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. Every game is different and this team is 2-0 at home in 2018. There is a possibility that Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys can come away with a win to even their record at 3-3.

I know I shouldn't be spreading hope and cheer about the Dallas Cowboys after what we've seen this season, but I just can't help myself. There are several reasons I believe this team can still make a run at the playoffs and one of those reasons is Dak Prescott.

While the wide receiver group and the coaching staff attempt to deflect criticism, Dak Prescott, the leader on the offense is willing to accept it.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Dak let everyone know that he still has confidence in this team despite the start to the season and knows that there are things that he needs to work on for this offense to move forward.

“Obviously I haven’t had my best showing of that here recently. Getting my feet right, making sure it’s all in line, feet and eyes in line, and just making sure the ball’s coming out of my hand earlier.”

Dak Prescott - via Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com

You can find plenty of people on Twitter or Facebook to tell you what's wrong with Dak Prescott. Shoot, I wrote a piece looking at how long Dak has had in the pocket and how long he's held onto the football. Whether it's his footwork, throwing technique, processing speed, or accuracy, there are a lot of things to point to for reasons not to believe in Dak Prescott. However, there are intangibles to Dak's game that don't necessarily show up on film or in the stat book.

The most important intangible, to me, is leadership. A leader always believes that the best is yet to come. Yes, they are willing to take a personal inventory of where they and those they lead are at, but they always believe that people can be more than what they've shown. Even themselves.

Even though there isn't a lot of belief left in the Dallas Cowboys' offense right now, Dak Prescott still believes.

On Thursday, he told reporters, "I don't think we're far off."

Dak Prescott has always exhibited leadership qualities. From the first snaps he took as a rookie in his 2016 opener against the New York Giants, he's always showed an ability to rally when the deck seemed stacked against him. If you need more evidence, look to the Green Bay Packers divisional playoff game in 2016, when they got down 21-3 -- largely due to errors by others on the offense -- and he rallied the team to nearly pull off a miraculous comeback.

Prescott's not a perfect quarterback. He has things that he has to get better at if he wants to be the franchise quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The positive take away is Dak Prescott isn't unwilling to look at the things he needs to do to get better or to work on those things.

I know most of us are down on Dak at this point and things are looking bleak, but that doesn't mean that he's finished as a starting quarterback in this league or even for the Dallas Cowboys. And sitting a half game back of the Philadelphia Eagles, after their win over the New York Giants Thursday night, Dak Prescott has a chance to keep the Dallas Cowboys in the playoff hunt.

They're right in the thick of this thing and while there's plenty of reasons to doubt this team, one thing you should never doubt is Dak's resolve. He will continue to play hard and fight to rally the rest of the offense around him to go and get the job done.

Don't forget that just two weeks ago against one of the better pass defenses in the NFL, the Detroit Lions, Dak Prescott led the Cowboys on a game-winning drive with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

There is a lot of criticism coming at Prescott and the Cowboys' offense, but leadership means standing tall in the face of adversity and Dak Prescott has that in spades.

He may not be the leader you want right now, but with everyone telling the Dallas Cowboys that they aren't good enough, he's the leader you need.



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