After a wild ride, Ezekiel Elliott is now officially suspended. The Dallas Cowboys running back will be on the shelf for six games and, on Thursday, the NFL announced his return date of Nov. 26.
From the moment the news broke, the NFL world awaited Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ response and, in visiting with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, he did just that.
“There’s no question that the commissioner has the authority to make these suspensions. The question was ultimately going to be … Does he have to follow the practice (in) a fair way? And, so, Zeke, his team and the Cowboys do not think it was done in a fair way. And we’re trying to get that looked at and we got a setback yesterday.”
Jones characterized the decision as not “done in a fair way” and, later, continued his reaction.
“It’s not the thing to do right now to get into how we will respond but we support Zeke. I’m very familiar with all of the facts and details of this case. Very familiar. More than anything I’ve ever done regarding law. Zeke did not get treated fairly here.”
Finally, Jones addressed the system at large and, while he praised it as “the best system in the world,” that wasn’t all.
“You do see unfairness. Even with our system. It’s the best system in the world but it has its flaws. And you see that. One of the main reasons this country is here is because you’re supposed to by precedent and law, you’re supposed to have your day before your accuser. This process that we have, which is not like getting arrested, but this process in the NFL has the same equivalent when you are suspended even though it’s done away from the law … it looks like you’ve done something. And that to me is incumbent upon the NFL to basically follow some more fair procedures if it’s going to look like you did something whether you did or not. The law does provide us the outline and precedent with how to do it … our system in the NFL does not.”
Jones clearly isn’t happy that one of his best players will be on the shelf for more than a month and, because of that, he isn’t exactly an objective party. Still, he clearly pulls weight around the league (and within the league office) so it will be interesting to see what kind of additional fallout comes to pass.