OXNARD, Calif. (105.3 THE FAN) – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones opened the team’s 2017 training camp on Sunday by announcing that there is “absolutely nothing” to lingering reports that star running back Ezekiel Elliott is guilty of domestic violence.
“I found nothing (new) since we were standing here at this time last year,” Jones said. “I knew everything in that report. I knew that at this time last year.”
Jones’ remarks are noteworthy … But not really revelatory. They echo the sentiment the Cowboys have held even after two 2016 accusations against the former Ohio State standout, who last season won the NFL rushing title.
105.3 The Fan has been reporting for more than a week that the NFL wants to meet with Elliott and may punish him due to what sources have called “an accumulation of behaviors.” That doesn’t mean Elliott is guilty of the charges being thrown at him by accusers and by the media – everything from domestic violence to marijuana use to 105.3 The Fan’s exclusive story on Elliott’s involvement in a Dallas nightspot altercation a week ago.
The commissioner’s office has the latitude to wrist-slap Elliott, to hand down a one- or two-game suspension … to do anything it wishes, really.
Elliott’s accuser, a former girlfriend, alleges incidents in Florida and in Ohio. Law-enforcement officials in both states have cleared the player of any wrongdoing, and the accuser herself stands accused of attempting to blackmail Elliott.
Jones said he believes the domestic-violence case is so weak. “That it’s not even an issue of he-said/she-said. There is not even an issue there,” he said.
Jones and the Cowboys may be right in a legal sense. But to repeat: Ezekiel Elliott’s problem with the NFL can be about an “accumulation of behaviors.” And no speech is helping that go away just yet.