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NFL Getting Desperate as Ezekiel Elliott Decision Looms

Jess Haynie

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Roger Goodell Getting Desperate as Ezekeil Elliott Decision Looms

We should know by the end of the day if a federal judge will grant Ezekiel Elliott an injunction against his six-game suspension from the NFL for domestic violence. Over the last 48 hours, it appears Roger Goodell is doing everything he can to try and improve the NFL's legal footing. His attempts have been comically hollow and desperate.

Let's start with the biggest clown show in this circus:

Adam Schefter on Twitter

NFL is suspending former Giants kicker Josh Brown six more games for domestic violence, sources tell ESPN.

Read that again...

"... former Giants kicker Josh Brown"

Yes friends, a guy who currently has no job in the NFL has been suspended six games. The NFL suddenly decided to drop this Fisher-Price hammer the morning before Elliott's injunction will be decided. It's painfully obvious, but what really hurts is the insult that Goodell and his team thought it wouldn't be.

We're not nearly as stupid as the NFL thinks. And if we're not, you know who especially isn't? Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas. If you and I find the NFL's tactics insulting, imagine how he will feel.

Of all of the domestic violence cases heard by the NFL since Ray Rice's, Josh Brown's was the league's biggest fumble. The initial one-game suspension was met with severe public backlash, prompting Roger Goodell to panic and then give Brown the equivalent of an indefinite suspension. A guy you'd definitely want to play cards with, Roger consistently doubles down on his own incompetence.

It's also convenient that the NFL went after Josh Brown given the conspiracy theories that were swirling about Ezekiel Elliott's suspension and the Cowboys' meeting this Sunday with the Giants. Brown's case was the one that everybody pointed to for comparison; admitted domestic violence over an unproven accusation, one-game and six-game bans respectively. The imbalance and inconsistency couldn't have been more egregious.

Michael Irvin Weighs in on Texans as Tony Romo Landing Spot

Michael Irvin

Two days ago, a story began to circulate that the NFL would be investigating legendary WR Michael Irvin for a previous domestic violence accusation. Irvin has been retired since 2000 but is an employee of the NFL network as a studio analyst.

While the league certainly has the right to consider its employees personal conduct, the timing of this story was incredibly convenient. "Look, we aren't just focusing on players. Everyone associated with the NFL is held to the same standard." Even if this is genuine, broadcasting it two days before Judge Mazzant's decision is hardly a coincidence.

Basically, the NFL is trying to whip up some quick legal precedent like a contestant on "Chopped." Somehow, they think that this laughably transparent maneuver will impress a seasoned federal judge. It's yet another time that Roger Goodell has failed to read his audience and shown his inadequacy.

Say what you want about the NFL's increasing revenues during Goodell's tenure, but many would argue that these were natural developments that had no basis in his influence or involvement. Whenever Goodell is truly front and center of an issue or a decision, it's almost always come with a hit to the league's reputation.

I recently went into even more detail about the NFL's blooper reel when it comes to domestic violence cases. This week is just more of the same; Goodell's reactionary decisions and make-up calls. They've thrown the Hail Mary, and hopefully Judge Mazzant swats it down.


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
  • Charles

    One word…. unbelieveable!!!

  • ArmyVet78

    The NFL surely screwed up the way that they classified the 6 game suspension on Ezekiel Elliott. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE was never the case because they lacked solid proof that it happened. CONDUCT UNBECOMING there is plenty of proof of that. The suspension should have been classified as CONDUCT UNBECOMING. This a major screw up on behalf of the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to do their job correctly. On the other hand Jerry Jones has on his hands the Worst Pathetic and Powerful Ticking Time Bomb and it’s getting ready to Explode if Jerry Jones doesn’t do something about it real fast. Ezekiel Elliott thinks that he is above the LAW. All Elliott is a Very Pathetic and Immature A**hole that lacks a Thinking Brain. There is nothing up there but hot air. Someone needs to teach him the FACTS OF LIFE or everyone will be reading the Down Fall of What Could Have Been a Super Running Back. Right now Elliott’s plane is on a Nose Dive getting ready to Crash. Thank goodness I have not spent my hard earned money on Elliott. Only time will tell if Elliott will learn his lesson and Mature.

    • Herman Taft

      What law (other than Speeding/Reckless Driving, which is indeed serious) did Elliott break?

  • Jones1983

    Why not suspend OJ while you’re at it??? The NFL doesn’t even care anymore.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      The NFL is currently investigating Michael Irvin on DV allegations as well. What’s next, gonna suspend Junior Seau for conduct detrimental to the league? Brown suspension is useless.

  • Bee

    The worst culprit here is the NFL team owners – well, the really stupid bylaws they had written and adopted. If these guys had their heads on straight, they would never have created an employee position (Commissioner) with the authority of any “Hitier” wannabe.
    It’s ridiculous for any single person to have total authority over everything, but that is what the NFL Constitution & Bylaws provide.
    I know the NFL owners really like the financial benefits their employee is supposedly responsible for generating (although most of that was their own doing, via game interest, not their employee’s), but geesh! There is no accountability – at least when there is an actual crime there are multiple safeguards in place that are supposed to prevent a miscarriage of justice, separating investigations from prosecutions and then requiring an adversarial presentation of the facts to a supposedly impartial jury, with a judge whose job it is to insure fairness in the search for truth.
    Goodell (NFL employee) is the whole ball of wax – investigator, prosecutor, jury, and judge – and not even a requirement that “something” actually happened before punishment. No separation of powers, and not even a hint of accountability.
    What an utterly sweet job — KIim Jong-un would be jealous if he knew.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

      It’s the CBA, it gave Goodell too much power in the Personal Conduct Policy, which he used to create the Domestic Violence and impose enforcement as he sees fit. The NFLPA is responsible for that policy giving the commissioner so much power. They should never have agreed to that.

  • Russ_Te

    Because the NFL is on such bad footing with it’s allegations against EE, I expected it to cave at the arbitration, down to 3 or 2 games. It’s own investigator has since outed their overreach, by saying her interviews with the accuser turned out less-than-believable.

    EE already had enough to gut the NFL’s findings in a court of law. Now with the above, his legal team has enough to eviscerate them. I doubt he serves a game of it, will go after lost endorsements $ which the accusations caused, and the case might even lead to Goodell being fired.

    You could get a guy off the street to do the job better than he does.

Player News

Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Planning

February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.

DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.

Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.

After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.

There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.

For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.

Jess Haynie on Twitter

In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys

What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?

First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.

It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.

It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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Dallas Cowboys OL Fails To Crack NFL.com’s Top 10

Kevin Brady

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Often considered a top unit in football, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line seemed to take a step back in 2017. Mostly due to injuries and free agent departures on the left side, the Cowboys were unable to form the same solid unit we have seen in years past.

Despite their struggles, most would still consider them a top 5-10 offensive line in the NFL. At least, that's what I'd expect considering they still feature three All-Pro caliber players upfront.

Matt Harmon of NFL.com put together a list of the top 10 offensive lines in football based on performance in the 2017 season. The list was strictly developed through the use of next gen stats, which defined pressure as "pass-rushing play in which a defender gets within 2 yards of the opposing quarterback at the time of the throw or sack." In addition, "yards gained before close" was taken into account. This metric is meant to measure "the amount of rushing yards a running back gains before opposing defenders come within 1 yard of the player."

After compiling all of these stats, the Cowboys offensive line was left off of the list completely. Maybe even more surprising, however, was that the Philadelphia Eagles' line failed to crack the top ten as well. That's two lines with 3-4 Pro Bowl caliber players each missing the cut.

According to Matt Harmon the Cowboys allowed a pressure on 28.6% of Dak Prescott's dropbacks, 12th highest in the league. Dallas also ranked 20th in the league in YGBC in 2017.

While I do have some issues with the methodology of these statistics, the final result is actually hard to argue with. Down the stretch the Cowboys offense was downright pathetic at times. Regardless of how highly we thought of them prior to the year, the offense didn't perform to their standards, or the standards of a top ten unit.

Heading into 2018, however, I do expect this offensive line to begin to regain form. La'el Collins should continue to improve on the right side, and he is already an adequate starting right tackle regardless. I also expect Dallas to address their left guard spot, potentially within the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In the end the success of this line may hinge on the health of Tyron Smith, though. When healthy, Smith is the best left tackle in all of football. But that "when healthy" caveat has certainly hurt the Cowboys offense.

The way the front office handles their offensive line this offseason will play a huge role in the success, or lack thereof, of the Cowboys in 2018.


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Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere

After playing sparsely for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, veteran cornerback Bene Benwikere is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Could he stay in Dallas, or will he have to find work elsewhere?

Dallas was concerned about its CB depth with heavy reliance on young players and Jourdan Lewis barely participating in the offseason. Therefore, the Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for Benwikere just before Week One.

After a stellar rookie season with the Carolina Panthers in 2014, Bene had suffered a steep fall before landing in Cincy. Injuries and poor play got him cut midway through 2016 by the Panthers, and then Benwikere bounced from Miami to Green Bay before finally signing with the Bengals in the 2017 offseason.

Though a few years removed from being an All-Rookie Team standout, Bene Benwikere is still just 26 and may still draw interest from scouts who remember his better days. He is likely counting on that, because the Cowboys' secondary is starting to fill up.

Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere 1

Dallas Cowboys CB Bene Benwikere (#23)

The Cowboys currently have exciting sophomores Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis expected to start in 2018. Anthony Brown is back for his third season and will be active on game days.

Orlando Scandrick's future is cloudy, but Dallas won't get much cap relief from releasing him this season. They may elect to keep the veteran for one more year, which would all but fill out the CB depth chart.

Even if Scandrick leaves, talk that Dallas may move Byron Jones back to corner from safety would only leave Benwikere in the same disadvantaged position for finding work.

The best chance that Bene Benwikere has to stay with the Cowboys is if new Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard remembers him from 2014. Coaches often feel that can get more out of a player than the last guy, and Richard may see potential in Benwikere that his last few teams couldn't unlock.

Four years ago may be too long, though, and especially with a fresh new crop of young players coming into the league. Especially if they keep Scandrick, Dallas may want to use the rest of their roster spots on younger prospects.

As it stands, Bene Benwikere is unlikely to return to the Cowboys. However, given the flashes of potential he once showed in the NFL, you can't be certain that Dallas won't want to give him one more chance.


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