FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) – While it certainly can be accurate to report that Ezekiel Elliott “could be bracing for a short suspension,” a Dallas Cowboys source tells me the front office is, as of noon-time Friday, unaware of a coming NFL suspension for the star running back.
Rumors about behavior have chased Elliott since before Dallas made him the fourth-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s dealt with domestic violence accusations and with rumors about “partying” behavior. One website insists Elliott is facing “a four-game suspension for weed.” Another, ESPN via Adam Schefter, on Friday noted a “growing sense” of trouble.
“I think that there’s a growing sense that he could face some sort of short suspension here in the coming weeks … once the NFL wraps up its investigation,” Schefter reported on Friday morning. “I believe Elliott is bracing for a short suspension.”
I have no sense that ESPN is throwing crap against a wall here; rather, this has always seemed to me to be a “smoke-and-fire” situation, with Elliott – after just one season in Dallas now a league superstar – himself acknowledging the wisdom of keeping a lower social profile.
“I would rather it not drag on this long,” Elliott said recently. “If there was something to find, which there’s not, they would’ve found it by now. The police did a very thorough investigation. It just seems like they’re dragging their feet right now. Who knows, man? I’m just ready for it to end.”
But lowering his social profile will not guarantee that Elliott is shielded from punishment. The NFL system allows for subjective and even arbitrary penalties to be handed down from Commissioner Roger Goodell. It’s been suggested to me that Elliott himself will soon know the nature of the league’s specific charges, which might allow him to forge a response.
The Cowboys do not yet know anything definitive about Elliott’s fate … but if he is about to know the charges so will they. Meanwhile, they drafted him with complete knowledge of be arbitrary and subjective risks of doing so.