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Ezekiel Elliott on dismissed domestic violence charges: “I’m a target”

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2016, file photo, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott takes the field with teammates before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Elliott has been cleared in a domestic violence investigation in Ohio and now turns his attention to something Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith didn't do, start an opener as a rookie.  (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File) AP

Before he’s even been tackled for the first time as a pro, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has had to defend himself.

First it was for a perhaps-innocent sightseeing trip to a marijuana dispensary that got him a scolding from owner Jerry Jones, and now against something more serious — domestic violence accusations from an ex-girlfriend. Prosecutors have decided to not charge him, and Elliott said he has learned that wearing a star on his helmet has also made him a bull’s eye for attention.

I’m a target, that’s what I’ve realized from all of this,” Elliott said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’ve got to conduct myself that way so I can not have any distractions and I can just focus on ball.”

Part of the allegations from his ex-girlfriend included text messages that suggested he might be worried about passing a drug test, but Elliott shrugged that off.

“Honestly, I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven’t seen those,” Elliott said. “I’m actually talking about football. I’m sorry. . . .

“We were very confident since day one. Wasn’t really worried that much. I know I didn’t do anything wrong. Honestly, I was just focused on ball. I let my lawyers and representatives handle the rest. I’m glad to put the distractions behind me and I’m excited to start this season. I’m excited to open up against the Giants and I’m ready to leave all that behind me.”

Of course, the league’s not at that point yet, as they’re still doing their own investigation. While the absence of criminal charges is good news for him — apparently so he can now focus on ball — there is the fact that he’s now created a pair of PR headaches for the Cowboys before he’s taken his first snap.

That has led some to wonder whether the pattern of behavior is something the Cowboys are going to have to deal with regarding the fourth overall pick from Ohio State. They’ve proven in the past they’re willing to do so with other players, and they’re counting on Elliott in a big way on the field with quarterback Tony Romo hurt.

But Elliott’s casual dismissal of the serious charges against him seems a little too flip, and probably won’t do anything to diminish the concerns of those who were already concerned about him.

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46 Responses to “Ezekiel Elliott on dismissed domestic violence charges: “I’m a target””
  1. thekillernacho says: Sep 8, 2016 9:07 AM

    A little too flip?

    Elliot handled the comments in the best way possible, honestly. And I think he is starting to realize that he can’t put himself in a position to be compromised, even if he actually did nothing wrong.

    Time will tell of course, but Ezekiel seems like a good kid. I don’t forsee him getting into much more trouble.

  2. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Sep 8, 2016 9:09 AM

    he was accused to give him the minimum suspension.

  3. metalman5150 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:11 AM

    Yeah Zek, – no one ever accused you of anything that you had nothing to do with. EVER.

  4. dalfanforever says: Sep 8, 2016 9:14 AM

    Young man, what was your first clue? Top rated running back, drafted 4th, 22 year old millionaire, plays for the Dallas Cowboys. No, I can’t possibly understand why you think you’d be a target?

    It’s not “you”. Truth is, many young millionaires go through the same thing. You’re not the first, and certainly won’t be the last.

  5. eazeback says: Sep 8, 2016 9:17 AM

    you’re a young black male so yes you’re a target and magnify that scrutiny because you have money and are a high profile athlete….um yes you’re a HUGE target…keep you’re nose clean and ball out, that’s the best way to “pay back” the haters!

  6. manasewitsch says: Sep 8, 2016 9:17 AM

    I bet he smokes weed! What a looser! Why can’t he just eat pain pills like a normal player?

  7. cobrala2 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:19 AM

    Why would the Cowboys be concerned with this guy? His bad publicity is weaksauce for Jerrah to handle.

  8. speicher145 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:20 AM

    I agree with him.

    -packers fan

  9. jurere_internacional says: Sep 8, 2016 9:28 AM

    “I’m a Target?”…So he’s telling us to “Expect More. Pay Less.”

  10. cowboy4life88 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:32 AM

    The media can be so cruel!

  11. bradygirl12 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:40 AM

    Don’t want to be a target? Don’t make yourself one. Keep your hands off of women,stay out of weed stores…etc. Those are at least 2 of the things the NFL clamps down on. We are hearing more about this guy’s off-field activities than on-field. That’s not a good sign. Maybe Joseph Randle left some of his bad mojo in that # 21 jersey.

  12. pittsburghdamned says: Sep 8, 2016 9:40 AM

    Again a shot of this guy in a half shirt.

    Such a typical “look at me” Cowboys Clown

    4-12

  13. harrisbarton says: Sep 8, 2016 9:44 AM

    It’s innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

    As the father of a son who’s a college athlete, my take is that there’s a witch hunt going on right now with all of the ‘rape culture’ BS swirling around on college campuses. Yeah, some of these guys are guilty and should have the book thrown at them, but all athletes (college and pro) are a target for anyone who wants to make any allegation against them.

  14. mightymightylafootball says: Sep 8, 2016 9:45 AM

    Often, targets are targets because they draw attention to themselves.

    We get it. You like cut off shirts.

    Wear the uniform same as everyone else. Plenty of time and space to “be your own person” outside of your job. Move on.

  15. rodgerstonelson says: Sep 8, 2016 9:49 AM

    Stop living like you are on Ballers.

  16. eaglesfan290 says: Sep 8, 2016 9:50 AM

    Seems like everyone on The Cowboys other than Romo and Witten are targets.

  17. mrmidevil says: Sep 8, 2016 9:52 AM

    So…he was accused….with no charges filed….so 4 game suspension like Big Ben right?

  18. jjackwagon says: Sep 8, 2016 9:53 AM

    Young, rich, famous…yes you are a target.

    It is your responsibility to stay out of places where you might be “targeted”. Comes with the territory.

    Newsflash…you don’t get the anonymity of average Joe.

  19. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 8, 2016 9:54 AM

    Wait, TEXTS????

    That should be a 4 game with loss of picks, fines etc etc….

    After Framegate we now understand that texts are the most solid evidence on the planet.

    Now we get to find out who is and who isn’t a hypocrite.

  20. packmanfan says: Sep 8, 2016 9:55 AM

    Any video of this incident of domestic abuse?
    No?
    OK.
    You can keep playing unless we get one.

  21. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Sep 8, 2016 9:55 AM

    Didn’t it come out when the allegations first surfaced that this was likely her attempt to get back at him over a breakup?

  22. therealtrenches says: Sep 8, 2016 9:56 AM

    harrisbarton says:
    Sep 8, 2016 9:44 AM
    It’s innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

    As the father of a son who’s a college athlete, my take is that there’s a witch hunt going on right now with all of the ‘rape culture’ BS swirling around on college campuses. Yeah, some of these guys are guilty and should have the book thrown at them, but all athletes (college and pro) are a target for anyone who wants to make any allegation against them.

    ——————–
    “Rape culture BS?” I’m a college professor and I have been since ’96. Trust me, it’s real. And things are *way worse* on college campuses now than they were then.

    The rest of what you say, I agree with: not all college football players are rapists, but some of them are.

    Just know that this means that not all of the accusers are liars. And “innocent until proven guilty” does not loosely translate to “she’s lying.”

  23. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 8, 2016 9:57 AM

    pittsburghdamned says:
    Sep 8, 2016 9:40 AM
    Again a shot of this guy in a half shirt.

    It get’s hot playing football. Is that what you’re going to complain about?

  24. swannysez says: Sep 8, 2016 10:01 AM

    Sooooooo, a girl filed a fake claim of domestic abuse against him. He knew he’d done nothing and foolishly didn’t sweat it because he knew he had done nothing. A girl claims to have texts. Again he doesn’t sweat it because he knows he did nothing.

    What’s he supposed to say?

    “Whoa, lucky I ducked those fake charges that I knew were fake all along. I would never not stand for the national anthem. Hail Hydra.”

    I hate the Cowboys. HATE them. Since the mid-70s when I because sentient. But Zeke’s a good kid. He’s also gonna be a superstar. I am torn on that. But since the Dallas D bites monkey balls, I am ok.

    Wear your shirts as you see fit, Zeke.

  25. owlbania says: Sep 8, 2016 10:08 AM

    Get better girlfriends & stay out of places where trouble is likely to happen. Do that & the target becomes very hard to hit.

  26. thekillernacho says: Sep 8, 2016 10:16 AM

    harrisbarton says:
    Sep 8, 2016 9:44 AM
    It’s innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

    As the father of a son who’s a college athlete, my take is that there’s a witch hunt going on right now with all of the ‘rape culture’ BS swirling around on college campuses. Yeah, some of these guys are guilty and should have the book thrown at them, but all athletes (college and pro) are a target for anyone who wants to make any allegation against them.

    ——————–
    “Rape culture BS?” I’m a college professor and I have been since ’96. Trust me, it’s real. And things are *way worse* on college campuses now than they were then.

    The rest of what you say, I agree with: not all college football players are rapists, but some of them are.

    Just know that this means that not all of the accusers are liars. And “innocent until proven guilty” does not loosely translate to “she’s lying.”

    —————-

    It doesn’t mean she is telling the truth, either. The burden of proof is on the accuser, always, and as it should be. Everyone should be entitled to due process before judgement. In this day and age, that simply doesn’t happen. And that’s a problem, arguably just as large of a problem as the actual crime itself.

  27. maiphatdong says: Sep 8, 2016 10:21 AM

    this guy is not going to last

  28. leevi98 says: Sep 8, 2016 10:25 AM

    No you and Jerry Jones paid to silence… Most people hi did nothing domt keep talking to media claim see I was right… Not buying it

  29. mack2x says: Sep 8, 2016 10:26 AM

    “But Elliott’s casual dismissal of the serious charges against him seems a little too flip”

    — What do you want him to do? Get all emotional and teary eyed?

  30. sdelmonte says: Sep 8, 2016 10:28 AM

    A hundred thumbs up to Harris Barton.

  31. possumsauce says: Sep 8, 2016 10:33 AM

    “I’m AT Target”.

    -Kellen Winslow, Jr.

  32. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Sep 8, 2016 10:35 AM

    There is absolutely no way for an NFL player to win with the media. If he confidently dismisses accusations and says he is focusing on his play on the field, he’s being too “flip”. If he emphatically denies his guilt over and over again, he’s “protesting too much”.

    Perhaps you could give us a lesson in how a player should respond to questions concerning off the field issues. I am sure they would be thankful for the input.

  33. mack2x says: Sep 8, 2016 10:44 AM

    bradygirl12 says:
    We are hearing more about this guy’s off-field activities than on-field. That’s not a good sign.

    –His on-field activities won’t begin in earnest until Sunday afternoon so that’s not surprising.

  34. therealtrenches says: Sep 8, 2016 10:54 AM

    thekillernacho says:
    Sep 8, 2016 10:16 AM
    harrisbarton says:
    Sep 8, 2016 9:44 AM
    It’s innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

    As the father of a son who’s a college athlete, my take is that there’s a witch hunt going on right now with all of the ‘rape culture’ BS swirling around on college campuses. Yeah, some of these guys are guilty and should have the book thrown at them, but all athletes (college and pro) are a target for anyone who wants to make any allegation against them.

    ——————–
    “Rape culture BS?” I’m a college professor and I have been since ’96. Trust me, it’s real. And things are *way worse* on college campuses now than they were then.

    The rest of what you say, I agree with: not all college football players are rapists, but some of them are.

    Just know that this means that not all of the accusers are liars. And “innocent until proven guilty” does not loosely translate to “she’s lying.”

    —————-

    It doesn’t mean she is telling the truth, either. The burden of proof is on the accuser, always, and as it should be. Everyone should be entitled to due process before judgement. In this day and age, that simply doesn’t happen. And that’s a problem, arguably just as large of a problem as the actual crime itself.

    ———————

    Please quote which part of my comment says I think she is telling the truth, or that I need due process explained to me.

    *My* point was that there needs to be due process. And in this case, by the way, it seems that a single judge decided to throw the case out before due process could occur.

  35. 700levelvet says: Sep 8, 2016 10:54 AM

    The…”Most mediocre franchise in sports”…

  36. hollywood26 says: Sep 8, 2016 11:07 AM

    As a former college athlete who was actually accused of rape by my ex-girlfriend I’m just amused to see all the responses on here. The case was dismissed yet people are telling him to “keep his hands off a woman” as if the accusation was the fact and not the dismissal of charges. I’m a diehard Redskins fan but I’m also honest with myself. The dude got hit for doing the exact same thing myself and my BOSS did when in Colorado. it’s like going to see the monuments in DC or the Empire State building in NY. I don’t smoke but I sure wanted to see what all the fuss about drugs are without going to some seedy alley or doing something illegal.

  37. baronvonmonocle says: Sep 8, 2016 11:15 AM

    “But Elliott’s casual dismissal of the serious charges against him seems a little too flip…”

    So, how contrite should an innocent person be, if he is indeed innocent?

  38. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Sep 8, 2016 11:15 AM

    bradygirl12 says:
    Sep 8, 2016 9:40 AM
    Don’t want to be a target? Don’t make yourself one. Keep your hands off of women,stay out of weed stores…etc. Those are at least 2 of the things the NFL clamps down on. We are hearing more about this guy’s off-field activities than on-field.
    ===

    There is no proof he put his hands on a woman so not sure exactly what you are talking about there.

    And as far as hearing more about his off-field activities than his on-field activities; You do realize he hasn’t played in a single game yet, right?

  39. mysterytonite says: Sep 8, 2016 11:20 AM

    You are a target so it’s probably best you try to keep a low profile. You can start by tucking in your shirt……….wait…….

  40. realityonetwo says: Sep 8, 2016 11:35 AM

    Elliott is definitely a dope smoker. I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong, or that the NFL should or should not allow it. But when you make a point to visit a weed shop when you’re in another state, then the (likely lying about domestic violence) ex-girlfriend can offer up proof via texts that you were taking precautionary steps to avoid getting busted, it’s obvious that you’re a dope smoker. It will eventually catch up with him. See Bell, Le’Veon.

  41. ktoast says: Sep 8, 2016 12:01 PM

    Darin, you state in your piece that he brought 2 PR nightmares to the Cowboys. I am not sure how some lunatic fabricating a story about him hitting her is his fault. You (media) people need to do a better job in your follow up when a player has been cleared of wrong doing. You will spend countless paid hours passing off your opinion when it appears a player has erred but have the nerve to say his reactions are “flip” when his whole life doesn’t derail.

  42. ktoast says: Sep 8, 2016 12:03 PM

    Kudos to Zeke on how professionally he handled this nightmare scenario. Stayed calm and let his people handle it while he focused on getting ready for the season. Glad he isn’t indulging this sick media who was likely praying for another Greg Hardy/Ray Rice story. He’s a football player, talk to him about football.

  43. tim8450 says: Sep 8, 2016 12:08 PM

    Please turn over all of your cell phones and pc’s to the commissioner’s office to assist in the investigation or face:

    – min four game suspension – w/no contact with team or any players or coaches on the team
    – loss of 1st and 4th round draft picks
    – $1M fine

  44. docsweeney says: Sep 8, 2016 12:32 PM

    Lots of professional athletes don’t get accused of anything…..because they didn’t do it or put themselves in compromising positions.

    Generally, if you are a “target”, you put the bullseye there yourself!

  45. vavikingfan says: Sep 8, 2016 1:02 PM

    Aren’t things like this a litmus test to be a Cowboy?

  46. hugeheavywoman says: Sep 8, 2016 1:48 PM

    Fear of passing a drug test?? Son, let Michael walk you through it. You’re gonna be a Pure Cowboy!!

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