Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended by the NFL for the first six games of the Dallas Cowboys’ season, but this is a saga that could get much worse for Dallas depending on how it all plays out.
Elliott, according to reports, is expected to appeal the NFL’s decision, which means this could drag out, potentially much longer than the six-week suspension. The star running back — heading into his second year in the league — has three business days to file a notice of his appeal, and then the NFL will schedule one for him. Either commissioner Roger Goodell or one of his designees will hear it, according to Todd Archer of ESPN, but this is something that may balloon even bigger if Elliott isn’t happy with the results.
Per Yahoo NFL reporter Charles Robinson, Elliott is apparently willing to take his suspension to the court system if he has to.
Elliott wasn’t charged in an alleged domestic violence incident just over a year ago now, but to the NFL, that doesn’t matter much. He isn’t being suspended because he broke the law. He’s being suspended because he broke the NFL’s player conduct policy, and that will make it much harder for Elliott to fight.
It sounds like Elliott feels like he has legs to stand on in this matter, but ultimately it’s going to come down to whether or not Goodell and the NFL are breaching the Collective Bargaining Agreement by suspending the Cowboys’ star.
Michael McMann of Sports Illustrated brought up the point on the CBA:
Ultimately, this is something that may end up getting very ugly on both sides. Tom Brady was willing to fight with the Goodell and the NFL over deflated footballs, so imagine how much more Elliott is going to be willing to clear his name of any wrongdoing.
Legally it has been, but the NFL is finally starting to take a hard stance on domestic violence, and the league will likely not balk at the opportunity to make Elliott — a high profile star — an example of that.
This may drag on for a while, and that’s very bad news for Dallas. If it leaks into the season, Elliott could risk missing critical games for the Cowboys. Or it could drag on into next season and he could end up playing the entire season without repercussion.