Bad news Cowboys fans, star running back Ezekiel Elliott will have to spend a substantial amount of time away from the field to open up the season.
The NFL released a statement regarding their decision to suspend the second year running back
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team's first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league's Personal Conduct Policy.
Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation.
League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.
After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.
Elliott led the NFL in rushing as a rookie last year and helped return the Cowboys to the playoffs with the assistance of fellow rookie Dak Prescott. The Cowboys expected much of the same this season but the suspension puts their plans for a strong start in serious jeopardy.
Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott's suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.
Elliott will be eligible to return to the team's active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys' Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys will now have to plan around the suspension and use valuable preseason time grooming Elliott's stand-in.