Elliott will be suspended for 6 games:
According to ESPN, Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended by the NFL for the first six games this season for violating the personal conduct policy. The suspension stems from an alleged domestic violence case from July of 2016 in Ohio. Elliott has been in the news more than once with off-the-field antics since coming into the league.
— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
Though the suspension is based off the domestic violence, he’s also been in the news for other off-field issues. He reportedly injured a man’s nose at a local Dallas bar before training camp this year and pulled down a woman’s shirt on St. Patrick’s Day. This certainly isn’t the way the Cowboys and Elliott wanted to start the 2017 season.
Last season, Elliott led the league in rushing with 1,631 yards on 322 carries. He also punched it in the end zone 15 times, and was a key contributor to the passing game as well.
The suspension will likely be shocking news to Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. A few weeks back he believed the NFL would find no wrong doing by Elliott. This could be a wake up call for Elliott, to get his lifestyle back in order, and to focus solely on football. The suspension will begin on September 2nd, and will then be eligible to return for week 8. According to Adam Schefter, Elliot will appeal the suspension.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to appeal 6-game suspension, per sources. Has three business days to file appeal.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
Key games that Elliott could miss include week 1 (Giants), week 3 (Cardinals), and week 5 (Packers). They also play the Broncos and Rams during that time before a week 6 bye. In Elliott’s absence, Dallas will now need to rely heavily on Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris to carry the load.
Two seasons ago behind Dallas’ stacked offensive line, McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards, with three TD’s. Coming off an injury, it’ll be important to work him into the offense and share time with Morris, who rushed for 751 yards on 202 carries two seasons ago with the Redskins, before losing playing time last season in Dallas. Morris looked strong in their first preseason game:
— NFL (@NFL) August 4, 2017
Both Morris and McFadden are more than capable of holding down the running game until Elliott returns. With an appeal coming, it’s yet to be seen if the suspension will stay a six games, or decrease. One thing is for certain, Elliott will need to prove to the Cowboys he’s willing to focus just on football moving forward.