Whew. After Ezekiel Elliott received a six-game suspension by the NFL, the “this is only the beginning” comments were everywhere around us. And yes, it really was just the beginning. If you've somehow missed all of the developments of the Zeke case, you can catch up with Sean Martin's article from Friday morning. Without even waiting for an answer from Harold Henderson and company, the NFLPA filed a petition in federal court to vacate the arbitration award.
This was expected to go to court, and it is something we knew was going to happen. But filing the petition before Henderson even announced his decision sure took us by surprise.
A lot of the information out there so far, surely is outrageous for every Cowboys fan. The NFL has been showing inconsistency and hypocrisy for a long time, and we are all hoping this ends soon. Too bad it won't.
Inevitably, this whole deal about the NFL leading investigator Kia Roberts recommending the NFL to not suspend Elliott has given Cowboys Nation a sense of hope. A “hey, this just might turn all right” type of sense. And even though it may look promising, I'm here to tell you… don't get your hopes up.
Yes, the information looks promising. Roger Goodell and the NFL look like clowns. All of this seems unfair to Zeke. But when this is taken to court, it is not a matter of whether or not Ezekiel Elliott did what he is being accused of.
I've spoken to a few of lawyers this morning, some who have handled NFL-related cases. They don't believe the NFLPA wins this in court.
The truth is, whether we like or not, Roger Goodell is in his right to suspend Ezekiel Elliott. Even if it is not ethical, fair, right, correct or whatever you want to call it… the CBA grants this power to the NFL commissioner.
That is basically what will be reviewed in court. Does the NFL commissioner have the right to suspend Ezekiel Elliott? Were there procedural violations? I'm telling you right now, the fact that Lisa Friel is a New York Giants fan will not cut it. Not even the NFLPA calling this a “league-orchestrated conspiracy” will.
I know, I know. There's more reasons to think that Ezekiel Elliott's camp might win this thing in court. But once you calm down and take a deep breath after being on Twitter for a while… how good will these arguments be when faced to a league commissioner who has been given a ridiculous and unfair amount of power?
Ezekiel Elliott is going to end up playing against the New York Giants in the season opener for the Dallas Cowboys. He will more than likely end up playing all of the 2017 season while this drama drags through court. But after that, he will likely be suspended. Even if we're talking about next season.
Why? CBA, CBA, CBA.
Is There a Small Bit of Hope?
Of course there is. What if the NFL decides to make things right? Does it sound probable? Not much, but it is an interesting idea.
Best thing for NFL is to have Harold Henderson vacate suspension.
Otherwise, bad federal court precedent looms. Would negate #Deflategate.
If the NFL has Henderson vacate the suspension, claiming something was done incorrectly and making up an excuse for it, it could be an interesting turn of events. Put all of this behind, and pretend nothing ever happened.
A Hail Mary from the NFL to save their perception before this is all taken to court might not be out of the question and it is worth discussing at least. As the tweet above mentions… could you imagine a scenario with Deflategate coming back? Can you imagine Roger Goodell finally saying goodbye to a possible extension?
The NFL is not doing things right, and I don't expect them to change anytime soon. This has not been fair, this has not been correct and this is far from over. If Elliott's suspension isn't vacated by Harold Henderson, I don't think Zeke will avoid missing six games. The NFL might need to wait until next year to see him suspended, but it will happen.
For now, Ezekiel Elliott and his camp are showing us what we all had imagined… they're not going without a fight.