Ezekiel Elliott will play during the Dallas Cowboys’ season opener against the New York Giants on Sunday prior to serving his six-game suspension. But that’s not enough for his legal team.
Elliott’s lawyers released a statement to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport regarding Harold Henderson’s decision to uphold the running back’s suspension, which they claim is “extremely disappointing” and that he was a “victim of a conspiracy orchestrated by the NFL and its officers to keep exonerating evidence from the decision-makers, including the advisors and Roger Goodell.”
On Tuesday, the NFL decided to uphold Elliott’s six-game suspension, as reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter through league sources.
However, he will still play in Week 1 before serving the suspension due to the timing of the ruling, according to Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.
Background on Ezekiel Elliot suspension
A woman claiming to be Elliott’s ex-girlfriend filed a police report in Columbus, Ohio on July 22,2016 — which is exactly one year prior to when the Cowboys begin training camp on Saturday — alleging the running back assaulted her over a span of several days, which launched the league’s investigation.
Elliott was never arrested and the local authorities declined to file charges, claiming that there was conflicting and inconsistent information involved with the incident.
Elliott complied with NFL investigators during his rookie season and expressed his frustration in the league’s continued probing, a feeling also expressed by his attorney and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
However, the league also looked into an incident that took place in February 2016 in Florida, where Elliott was training for the 2016 NFL Draft, in which a woman alleged the running back pushed her up against a wall.
In July, the Cowboys signed veteran running back Ronnie Hillman, which many assumed was based on the team’s concerns about the NFL’s decision on Elliott, according to Schefter.