NFL Botches Ezekiel Elliott Punishment
The NFL has swung down the hammer on the Dallas Cowboys and star running back Ezekiel Elliott, it’s going to be a six game suspension. Of course, with the appeals process, the penalty can be lowered, but it’s a big blow to the Cowboys.
It’s very difficult to determine how we got here. Six games, when Elliott was cleared by local police, who found the accuser was inconsistent in her statements and there was a published affidavit that proved she was trying to “ruin his career.” Yet somehow, the league “generally believed” the accusers testimony.
Also, the league was extremely vague on what the suspension was for. The NFL announced it was for domestic violence over a five day period in July 2016, stating they “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence.” Yet on a conference call to talk about the suspension, the league also said the incident on St. Patrick’s Day “exhibited poor judgement and poor behavior.”
So what, exactly, is the suspension for? A cumulative effect of everything, or for the domestic violence accusation?
Regardless, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to do pretty much whatever they want. There are too many examples of the league making it up on the fly and this is no different. There are just too many inconsistencies since the Ray Rice debacle and they botched another one today.
Ezekiel Elliott does not deserve a six game suspension, especially when New York Giants kicker Josh Brown got just one game last year after admitting he abused his wife. The reasoning behind the punishment does not add up and defies logic.
So here the Cowboys sit, now knowing they will be without Elliott for at least part of the season, and reports are that owner Jerry Jones is furious. He should be, but that anger does nothing to change a suspension to one of his best players.
If we’re being honest, though, Elliott is no choir boy. He has shown signs of poor judgement in the past year and a suspension for all the issues that surround Zeke may have been warranted. But six games is too much, especially without any actual charges or arrests stemming from any incident. In truth, Elliott does need to grow up, there is little denying that fact. Warranted or not, hopefully this is a wake-up call.
There is a tiny bit of a silver lining coming from the news today. The NFL remains a quarterback driven league and if you believe in Dak Prescott, the Cowboys will be fine. They won’t be as good, but they will be able to withstand the loss of Elliott. They still have Darren McFadden, who rushed for 1,000 yards just two years ago, and the combination of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith should be good enough to navigate through the first six games (or less) of the season. All are capable of helping out while Elliott is on the shelf.
Two years ago when DeMarco Murray left, there was no quarterback to help Dallas win all those close games. That is no longer the case with Prescott firmly in control of the offense. Prescott brings a calm influence and a confidence that can help guide the team through the loss of Elliott. The Cowboys are in a much better position this time around; don’t expect the team to flounder without Zeke.
Also, the Cowboys only play one divisional opponent over the first six weeks of the season, so if they want to do their damage in the division, the opportunity is there to do so. Elliott will have fresh legs in keys games, especially down the stretch when defenses are worn down by a long season.
It is a tough day for the Dallas Cowboys. A ridiculous suspension threatens the teams Super Bowl aspirations. Ezekiel Elliott is a major part of who the Cowboys are, and who they want to be, and now they will be without him for six games.
Today we found out the NFL really has no idea what they are doing when it comes to discipline. If they don’t know what they’re doing, how can we? The inconsistencies when handing out their justice makes no sense and they need to get their act together.
Unfortunately, it won’t happen in time to right the Ezekiel Elliott situation. It’s another blow to the league, another mistake the NFL cannot explain.
America’s Team has gotten the shaft, but we haven’t heard the last of situation. Up next, Jerry and Zeke’s response.
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