Ezekiel Elliott is still facing potential discipline

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Unless and until the NFL officially clears Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to cap an investigation dating back to July of 2016, the possibility remains that he’ll be punished under the Personal Conduct Policy. At a time when many believe it’s simply a matter of time before the league finds the right opportunity to leak to one of its in-house reporters and/or to announce generally that Elliott will face no discipline, it’s important to remember that, despite optimism from the likes of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Elliott could still be suspended.

“[T]his is a situation that has gone back and forth so many times,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently said during an appearance on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, via SportingNews.com. “I’ve spoken to some people within the league who, during the course of the offseason, got a sense that some form of discipline could happen. And then I spoke to somebody last week and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I don’t think anything is going to happen here.’ And then a decision that many people thought would come before the start of the the July Fourth weekend on Friday when the NFL usually makes a lot of decisions, hands down some news, I was told that was being pushed back.

“Now why is that being pushed back? Was it being pushed back, actually? Maybe it wasn’t even. But I was told there wasn’t going to be an answer here for a little while, that there was more information. There have been more meetings between either Zeke’s people and the league, or the NFLPA and the league, or whoever. It’s just been an ongoing issue that has had no conclusion. And so, if you’re drafting [fantasy football players] today, it’s hard to say, ‘Well, nothing’s going to happen there.’

“Nothing may well happen there, but something could happen there. We just don’t know right now. It’s just sort of out there.”

It can’t be “just sort of out there” for much longer, if there’s a chance of discipline that will give Elliott a fair chance to get the case resolved before the start of the regular season. If there will be a suspension, the sooner Elliott gets a chance to challenge it, the better.

In the absence of clarity or transparency, it’s hard to know why this is taking so long. It could be that investigators are diligently working toward resolving what amounts to a dispute between Elliott and his accuser as to what he did and didn’t do. It could be that whoever will be making the decision within the walls of 345 Park Avenue is having a hard time navigating strong pressure from one of the most powerful owners in the sport and delicate P.R. considerations that compel vigilance and stringency, especially if Elliott’s accuser decides that her failed effort to get satisfaction either in the criminal justice system or in the Court of Roger Goodell will culminate in a public effort to tell her story — a story that could be deemed credible, making the league’s decision to not take action against Elliott seem incredible.

At the heart of the situation could be (emphasis: could be) a behind-the-scenes effort by the league to broker a settlement of all potential civil claims that the accuser could make in court, which would provide a real and legitimate platform for her story to be told. This would allow the league to close the book on Elliott without fear of a subsequent effort by the accuser to make the league look bad for giving him a pass.

However it plays out, the reduced standard of proof combined with an accuser who surely insists something happened and a player who insists the opposite makes it a tough case for the league to create. It won’t get any easier with the passage of time — unless Elliott and the accuser reach a financial settlement that allows for everything to be wrapped up in one fell swoop.

29 responses to “Ezekiel Elliott is still facing potential discipline

  1. 1) “It could be that investigators are diligently working toward resolving what amounts to a dispute between Elliott and his accuser as to what he did and didn’t do.” Well, that ‘could’ be true except you’re framing it as a ‘he said/she said’ issue when there are multiple witnesses (like ALL of them) who back ‘he said’.

    2) If it is ultimately a ‘he said, she said’ issue, it seems to me they should have dropped it a long time ago.

    It just seems to me that the league is terrified that they will be embarrassed by the revelation of a high profile player in an as yet unknown video (ala Ray Rice) and they are delaying resolving the issue until they are certain no such evidence exists.

    This has become an example of the overbearing control the league obtained in the latest CBA and why the next one could be the most contentious in the history of the NFL. The ‘investigation’ has long passed any semblance of ‘swift justice’. It is now a poster child for ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. Where does Zeke go to get his reputation back?

  2. Hell no if he pays her anything it’s a perception of guilty to a lot of Americans this is nonsense trash to force some type of act from Ezekiel Elliott for nothing

  3. He should have been suspended for pulling that woman’s top down, too. That was a classless act and if that’s not conduct detrimental to the league, I don’t know what is.
    I was hoping that woman’s father would look Elliott up and bounce a fist off his nose when he wasn’t looking.
    But then I remember the pictures of Jerruh Jones groping a young woman and it reminds me that maybe Elliott thinks it’s normal behavior if you play for the Cowboys.
    After all, Michael Irvin and some of his teammates had their own brothel right near their practice facility when they played. So it seems to me that part of the Cowboys history is treating women this way.

  4. At this point, I’d be in favor of the NFL saying “screw it” when it comes to off the field matters. Let the cops handle criminal matters, let the teams handle PR matters.

    Roger has shown nothing but incompetence and inconsistency when it comes to player discipline.

  5. Seems like just yesterday Cowboys fans were cheering on Kommissar Goodell and his vendettas against Brady and Rice. They ain’t laughing now.

  6. This guy is an animal. Forget the alleged dv charges with his GF, how bout pulling down a random woman’s top at a public parade to expose her privates?? Suspend him. He earned it.

  7. Screw the NFL. Here’s an idea. Let’s just get to the truth, make a decision and move on. I’m nuts cowboys fan or a fan of the player but stuff like this continues to show how inept the NFL is over these issues. Get out of the discipline game. You are no good at it.

  8. Considering that he has a propensity to rip women’s clothing off of them in public, there’s a strong possibility he’s guilty of something. He needs to be suspend if for no other reason, to keep his ego in check before his head gets too big.

  9. If any of the policies existed back then, the entire 1990s Dallas teams would have been suspended or banned from the league at some point. This guy, who was 20 when some of his stuff happened, might be guilty of bad decisions but that’s about it. Meanwhile his Dallas role models in their 40s are still getting accused of worse.

  10. Florio says all black players should be allowed to do whatever they want and white players should be penalized. That’s the way liberals roll.

  11. I said this a year ago and I’ll say it again; the league is scared to clear the player, because if something comes up at a later stage, then they are back to ray rice days. Plain and simple. At the same time the league can’t, and especially not with the union involved, discipline a player given the lack of proof. So the only safe thing is to let it continue until you at some point let it go, without really telling anyone about it.

  12. Just like Pres Trump colluded with the Russians….yea right …… Watch out PFT your going down the road of CNN….fake news witch hunt

  13. Isn’t every player in the NFL facing “potential” discipline? The commissioner isn’t exactly a model of consistency so whatever he dislikes gets punished.

  14. Jerry really knows how to pick them!

    The Cowboys are a fluke, 8-8 season coming up.

    Jordan Howard > Ezekiel Elliott

    The only reason Elliott did well is because Jerry can draft good O lines, but that’s all the credit I will give that old crack pot.

  15. Note the NFL can’t order players’ phones and the NFLPA deosn’t want players to hand them over, but Fraudger took Zeke’s phone logs offered up as evidence – this is the same Fraudger who said phone logs were inadmissable when Brady offered his own and said they would prove the NFL already had all the texts between him and anyone connected with the Pats.

  16. Not a Cowboy fan here but even Boys haters can acknowledge that Zeke is getting a raw deal with all the hemming and hawing. How about the NFL just adopt a policy of “minus extensive and conclusive evidence like video, we will not discipline players for conduct off the field until an arrest has been made and the police report made public”. Sheesh. That would also avoid some embarrassment, Roger, and lots of backtracking!

    Also, think about the impact this will have on fantasy football drafts! Zeke is a sure fire top 5 pick UNLESS he’s suspended multiple games! This kind of uncertainty is no bueno so they’d best iron it out before the end of August or they’ll be a lot more people upset than just Cowboy fans.

  17. Cowboys don’t get breaks when the owner of the Giants runs the league. Their 2 best pass rushers are suspended, 1 for 4 games and the other for the season. Real puppet master work.

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