LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys should soon find out if the running back will be eligible to play the rest of the season.
Elliott has another hearing toay to decide whether he’ll serve a six-game suspension as a result of a yearlong NFL investigation that found he had multiple physical confrontations in 2016 with his girlfriend at the time.
“We need him, but what is important is that he gets a fair shake,” owner Jerry Jones said Sunday after Elliott ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-19 victory over the Washington Redskins. “Zeke has in no way, by any standard, done anything wrong. He’s done nothing wrong. We, the league, have tried to say that he’s done something that we disagree with. We all don’t agree with that. So I want him to get a fair shot. And he deserves that.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott in August for six games, a ban that has been fought over in court since. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue a criminal case, citing conflicting evidence.
“We’ve got a pretty good system in place in this country,” Jones said. “It’s called the legal system, and it has a lot of precedent and it’s made a lot of mistakes, but it’s the best one there probably is in the world in my view and for us to not basically recognize that, that’s a concern.”
With the 5-2 Kansas City Chiefs up next, the Cowboys hope they’ll have Elliott, who has run for 100-plus yards in three consecutive games and has four rushing touchdowns over the past two weeks. Elliott believes he’ll keep playing.
“I think we’re confident in our argument,” said Elliott, who will attend the hearing. “We’re confident I’ll be on the field for the rest of the year.”
Elliott has 690 yards rushing and six touchdowns and 210 yards receiving with two scores this season. Although the 22-year-old voiced confidence in fellow running backs Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and Rod Smith, Dallas doesn’t have someone else who can do what Elliott does at his level.