This is not good news for the Dallas Cowboys. Ezekiel Elliot is being suspended due to an investigation that started over a year ago after his ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. However, The Columbus City Attorney’s office announced they would not be pursuing charges against Elliot. The NFL is allowed to penalize a player even without any charges being brought against him. Zeke is expected to appeal the suspension.
This is the biggest problem people will have with the suspension. There were no charges brought against Elliot, but the NFL still decides to suspend him. Why? There were several witnesses who said they heard Elliot’s ex-girlfriend say to him she would “ruin his career” if he ended a relationship with her. After conducting their own investigation, the NFL believes that Elliot violated the personal conduct policy. The league found evidence through old text messages and medical records.
This is not the first time that Zeke has been accused of violating their policy. In July 2016, February of this year, this past St. Patrick’s Day and right before training camp, Ezekiel Elliot had accusations brought against him. On St. Patrick’s Day Elliot was involved in an incident in which he pulled a woman’s shirt down. Right before the team left for training camp he was involved in a bar fight in which he left a man with an injured nose. The league easy these incidents did not factor into his suspension, but it is hard to believe that this was not in the back of their minds.
This will be the Cowboys’ third player suspended this season. Defensive ends Randy Gregory and David Irving were both suspended earlier this year. Gregory has been suspended for the 2017 season due to multiple violations of the substance-abuse policy. Irving was suspended for the first four games for violating the PED policy.
If his appeal is denied, Elliot will be missing games against the Giants, Broncos, Packers, Cardinals, Rams and 49ers. Four of those teams have a good chance of making the playoffs this season. A possible 2-4 start to the season could derail a playoff return for the Cowboys. The Cowboys will likely turn to a committee backfield by deploying Darren McFadden, Rod Smith, Alfred Morris and/or Ronnie Hillman. Dallas’ offensive line is indeed one of the best in the game, but they did lose two of their veteran lineman this off-season. The Cowboys lost Doug Free to retirement and Ron Leary to the Denver Broncos. It will be interesting to see this play out and see if the Cowboys can sustain a 6 game suspension from one of their star players.