Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended six games by the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
The news broke early Friday morning, and was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Elliott is expected to appeal the suspension.
Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott is being suspended 6 games, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
The Cowboys’ young running back has been subject to investigation for over a year, when an ex-girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence. No charges were filed against him, but the NFL can penalize players even without legal charges present.
The NFL reportedly considered all past allegations and incidents when investigating Elliott, including domestic violence accusations from 2016. The league believes that they have searched extensively and thoroughly enough to determine that Elliott violated the personal conduct policy within that timeframe.
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones disagrees, and has defended Elliott throughout the investigation. Jones even went as far to say that he didn’t anticipate a suspension being levied when interviewed at Cowboys training camp. It is clear that he will stand by his running back no matter what.
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones is said to be furious with NFL decision, per one source. Furious.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
Along with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, “Zeke” took the league by storm last season, earning a Pro-Bowl appearance in just his first year. The fourth overall draft pick led the league in rushing, racking up 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns on 322 carries.
Along with missing valuable playing time, Elliott will be taking a huge financial loss if the suspension stands. All guarantees in Elliott’s rookie deal will be voided, and for each game missed, Elliott will have to pay back roughly $240,000 of his signing bonus. Elliott will also be losing his base-salary pay during the suspension.
#Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott stands to lose $93k salary + a possible $240k in signing bonus/game suspended; $8.15M in guarantees will also void.— Spotrac (@spotrac) August 11, 2017
The Cowboys must now turn to veteran backs Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris to carry the load in Elliott’s absence. The team also signed veteran Ronnie Hillman prior to the suspension, even though coach Jason Garrett said the signing had nothing to do with Elliott or the investigation.
With the season approaching fast, the Cowboys now need to review their running game and prepare to enter the season without Elliott in their backfield. Cowboys fans will now have to wait longer to see the dynamic combo of “Dak and Zeke” take the field once again.
Elliott has three business days to officially appeal the suspension.