OXNARD, Calif. (105.3 THE FAN) – The NFL completed the paperwork regarding its investigation into Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s “accumulation of behaviors” and plans on releasing its ruling on Friday, a source tells me.
While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has talked with confidence that Elliott would avoid a suspension, I have suggested on the 105.3 The Fan that Cowboys Nation should brace itself for a suspension of at least two games.
The league’s probe into Elliott’s behavior includes a pair of domestic violence accusations made against him in the last 18 months by a girlfriend. I’ve reported for months that the NFL has concerns beyond those incidents, though Elliott, 22, has never been found guilty of any crimes.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his panel of advisors have incredible latitude here in their ability to dole out punishment. A domestic violence ruling, for instance, is supposed to be a six-game suspension. But in practice, players have absorbed greater punishments and have escaped with lesser punishments, creating the atmosphere of a kangaroo court.
Elliott, who went before league officials last month in New York, can, if penalized, file an appeal. He has three business days to do, and the league would then have 10 days to rule on that appeal.
Elliott, an MVP candidate who last year ran for 1,631 yards with 15 touchdowns and was a first-team All-Pro as a rookie, has the support of the Cowboys organization.
“I’ve made my comments based on all the knowledge I have,” Jones said recently. “I have everything. I do not anticipate a suspension.”
But that could be politicking: Jones’ adamant takes regarding the player’s innocence and belief in a ruling that reflects that innocence might be the product of a desire to help Elliott fight a long suspension the Cowboys would find unjust.
And that means that the next chapter of this saga might be titled, “Filing An Injunction.”