Regardless of his recent run-ins with the law, here’s is why I believe Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott should not be suspended by the NFL.
This is pretty simple, Dallas Cowboys’ second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott should not be suspended by the NFL. The latest two “incidents” involving Elliott is a speeding ticket (really) and the other being the “infamous” Sunday night bar fight that, as it turns out, he may not have even participated in.
Look, I am all for accountability here. And Elliott is an integral part of the Cowboys success in 2017. But people are talking about his trip to a marijuana dispensary last August as if he was Pablo Escobar.
Zeke walked in and walked out, and nothing else happened. That trip is being described as an example of Elliott’s “poor judgment” but really that is code for marijuana is bad and Elliott is bad by association.
It is a narrative that is being developed, plain and simple. It is being covered in the media as if he has been on a tear, running through strip clubs, clubbing, fighting security guards, however, in reality, nothing has really occurred.
Even during one of Elliott’s most celebrated moments (the touchdown celebration involving the Salvation Army bucket), media outlets reported that he could face potential punishment/suspension.
That really underscored what it means to be a Dallas Cowboy, you have a target on your back at all times, the light will never shine brighter. I would understand all of this constant coverage if there were substance to any of these allegations however there are none.
It is all opinion and not terrifically nuanced perspectives at that. Every human being makes mistakes and these are not even the most egregious actions of the offseason. The NFL had been dragging their feet on an investigation that even law enforcement had closed.
So why a suspension for a situation that was not only resolved in the court of law but also in the court of public opinion? It is because he is the new face of the NFL, I mean would we really be having this discussion if Russell Wilson or Tom Brady had the same string of incidents?
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Zeke is flashy on the field and really likes to be the center of attention and there is nothing wrong with that. He leads by example and energizes the team in the locker room and never gets any praise for that.
Elliott has already stated his innocence and it is the media’s responsibility to report just the facts and not cloud stories with opinions or doubts. Thinking that suspending Elliott will “help” him, in the long run, is a bit weird considering it will not only hurt the team but the NFL as a whole.
First, if Elliott misses a game for literally nothing, it will not teach him to stay away from a potentially negative situation, but that public perception has the potential to re-write truth.
Elliott has been cleared in a court of law and texts from the woman in question show that she was looking to set him up from the beginning. Now if you want to argue that Elliott violated the leagues conduct policies, there is little evidence of that as well.
This latest incident could have actually been Elliott’s bodyguard defending the superstar so plenty of questions still remain. In a similar but worse situation New York Jets players were not disciplined by the league after getting into an altercation on camera at a bar, so why punish Zeke for potentially standing still.
The speeding ticket incident was just that and the NFL has no grounds to act upon it. Secondly suspending Elliott for any amount of time would be incredibly dumb from a business perspective as well.
Think about it, the Dallas Cowboys are the biggest sports franchise in the world. They are valued at 4 billion dollars at are easily the NFL’s biggest draw. Some even argue that the declining ratings of 2016 were only halted by the Cowboys return to prominence.
It also is pretty interesting that boring activities like getting a speeding ticket are suddenly a ratings draw for NFL content. This whole offseason has been about the Dallas Cowboys both good and bad.
During slow news days, Zeke’s “looming” suspension is something that keeps people reading/clicking/thinking about the NFL’s product, so there is no reason they would be in a hurry to do something to slow down their media coverage.
I am certain there is more data on the issue but why would the NFL suspend easily one of the NFL’s biggest stars for a marquee matchup with a hated rival? In a league with such little room for error taking a player out of action so early in the season could lead to much larger consequences for a franchise long term.
If the NFL were to ever suspend Elliott they would need concrete proof that he had a major violation, which is something that just has not happened yet. If Elliott got caught with drugs or caught doing something that was against both the NFL and state or federal laws, fine we can talk about a punishment, but so far he has just been an excitable and enthusiastic Dallas Cowboy.
In conclusion, I plead to the NFL, do not overreact, do not look to make Ezekiel Elliott an example, because so far he has only been an example of stellar football production and sloppy, yet entertaining, cereal consumption. Let him build his own legacy and grow into a player who can make the league a ton of money for years to come.