Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday.
The suspension comes as a result to an investigation involving an ex-girlfriend who accused Elliot of domestic violence over a year ago in Columbus, OH. The Columbus City Attorney’s office announced in September that it would not pursue charges against Elliott because of “conflicting and inconsistent information.”
However, the NFL felt differently by their investigation and chose to suspend the second-year star. And despite no legal charges, the NFL can penalize a player without legal charges.
According to Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, Elliott has three business days to file notice of appeal and a hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of receipt of the notice.
And according to multiple reports, Elliott will not only appeal the NFL’s decision, but is willing to even take the NFL’s suspension through the courts like Tom Brady did.
If Elliott decided not to appeal the NFL decision, then his suspension would begin September 2nd. He would be eligible to return to the active roster October 23rd, the day after the Cowboys’ Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
NFL officials said that the league examined text messages, interviewed more than a dozen witnesses — including the accuser and Elliott — and retained medical and legal experts to help Goodell make his decision.
However, several witnesses, according to sources close to the case, had heard the woman yell at Elliott that she would “ruin his career” when she was unhappy that they would not continue their relationship.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has defended Elliott throughout the NFL’s entire investigation and according to multiple reports is extremely furious with the NFL’s decision.
With Elliott out, the Cowboys will turn to Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Alfred Morris as their running backs. The Cowboys also signed veteran Ronnie Hillman at the end of July, but coach Jason Garrett said the addition had nothing to do with Elliott’s potential suspension.