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Another Cowboy player in trouble

Ezekiel Elliott

Another Cowboy player in trouble
August 24
02:02 2017

Dallas Cowboy fans have been feeling a sense of deja vu.  Once again another Cowboy has been suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. This time it was second-year stud running back Ezekiel Elliott for alleged domestic violence against his former girlfriend in 2016.

Elliott will be suspended for the first six games of the 2017-18 season.  He has appealed the suspension.

This suspension is clearly a signal to other players that domestic violence will not be handled lightly.  After the debacle of the Ray Rice and Josh Brown situations, the league is now more willing to issue more severe penalties when it comes to domestic violence.

Seeing that they needed to be tougher on players and to conduct thorough investigations, this one pertaining to Elliott took over a year.  Even without a conviction from the court of law, the NFL saw fit to impose the six-game suspension.  The league’s personal conduct policy does not rely on the same burden of proof as the legal system does.

Taking over a year to make this decision shows that the league was not going to rush into a decision and embarrass themselves by making an ill-advised decision before knowing all of the facts.  The NFL has previously jumped the gun too soon to only have to re-evaluate their decision, such as with Rice.  The backlash from the fans and media prompted them to take their time and acquire all the information with Elliott and then levy a decision.

Elliott’s two alleged domestic violence incidents were from the same woman.  They occurred in February and July of 2016, in the state of Florida and in Columbus, Ohio.  Elliott was not charged by police in either case, citing insufficient evidence.  The league, however, said through its investigation they found “substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that Elliott engaged in physical violence” against his accuser “on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”

Throughout the investigation, Elliott did not make himself look any better by being involved in a number of questionable situations, such as pulling a young woman’s shirt down, exposing her breasts on the roof of a Dallas bar during a St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Elliott’s camp claims that the woman was not bothered by Elliott’s behavior and continued to party with the running back throughout the evening.

Along with the rooftop incident, he was also allegedly involved in a bar fight incident in July of this year, where a 30-year-old man was assaulted and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Elliott was not named in the police report but the fact he was mentioned by patrons in the bar did not make him look good, especially while being under investigation by the league.

To make matters even worse, last summer he decided to visit a marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, just before playing in a preseason football game.  In Seattle, small amounts of marijuana are legal.  Cowboy owner Jerry Jones was not very pleased with Elliott’s actions, saying “Well, I think that, in and of itself, the reason we are talking about it is in a way part of the learning process,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  “But it’s not good.  It’s just not good.”

Elliott joins 12 other Cowboy players who have been suspended since the start of the 2014 season totaling 108 games collectively, a league high during that span.  The next highest total of team suspensions are the Baltimore Ravens with 55 games involving nine players.

Jerry Jones has had a history of rolling the dice on questionable players such as Greg Hardy, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain.  His track record of signing talented but troubled players has mostly blown up in his face.

Jones was very disappointed with the decision by the NFL to suspend Elliott, especially with the swirling rumors of some questionable text messages from Elliott’s accuser claiming that she may have attempted to blackmail him by releasing sex videos involving the two in exchange for money.  The NFL concluded that those messages did not disprove the domestic violence.

In any case, those messages are very intriguing as they may serve as a motive for her allegations. But once again the NFL has made its decision while also knowing his accuser made false statements to police on the night of July 22, 2016.  Elliott has appealed the suspension in hopes of getting back on the field sooner than later.  His appeal is to be heard on Aug. 29 but once the hearing is held there is no timetable for a decision.  Cowboy fans will have to sit on the edge of their seats until then. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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