After more than a year long domestic violence investigation, the NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games.
After more than a year, the NFL’s investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident involving Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has come to a close. The verdict? That there was enough credible evidence stemming from said incident that the league believes Elliott engaged in conduct that violated it’s personal-conduct policy. The punishment? A six-game suspension.
In an official statement by the league, the NFL explained the reasoning behind the six-game ban of Elliott, which would delay his 2017 season debut until Week Eight, the Cowboys October 29th matchup against the Washington Redskins.
"“In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”"
So what happens next? Elliott has three days to file an appeal. And based on the claims of innocence by himself, and the adamant public support from owner Jerry Jones, they undoubtedly will do so. In the meantime, the second-year Pro Bowler is allowed to fully practice with the team and participate in all preseason activities. The suspension, pending appeal, is schedule to kick in on September 2nd.
This is a major blow to the Dallas Cowboys season, after initial rumors had a possible suspension at only one or two games. If Elliott is indeed banned for the first seven weeks of the regular season, the Cowboys will relay heavily on their bench to carry the load. The combination of running backs Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Ronnie Hillman will be asked to fill in for a player who lead the league in rushing last season.