Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended 6 games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. In this case that violation was apparently three incidents of alleged domestic violence in a single week. The NFL waited a year as the justice system was unable to do anything. When they finally handed Elliott his suspension it was six times as long as the one handed to Giants kicker Josh Brown, who later admitted to multiple incidents of domestic violence.
On July 19, 2017, exactly a year after one of the incidents that led to Elliott’s suspension, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spoke about how Elliott had to better handle his rock star status and be wary of the evils of social media. Those quotes were a joke then and are an embarrassment today. Now Jones is reportedly “furious” about the decision.
Jones was less upset to learn his team cut a player because of a case of mistaken identity. Lucky Whitehead is now a New York Jet because of the “culmination of a number of incidents” that we know nothing about while Elliott remains unpunished by the Cowboys and prepares to appeal his suspension. If Elliott was the backup to the NFL’s leading rusher, he’d have been cut today.
Ray Rice, who was caught on video punching his wife, was suspended indefinitely (though that was reduced) and has been out of the league ever since. Josh Brown, 38, also remains unemployed. Both those players have passed the time when they can contribute to a team.
Elliott got off light. His punishment seems heavy compared to some incidents, but that’s only because the NFL has been easy on these types of incidents in the past. The Cowboys should be thrilled that Elliott will be back this season, if at all. He’s lucky that the NFL was the one able to build a case against him instead of the justice system. As usual, the fact that he will return has everything to do with how good he is at football.
Jerry Jones, Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys should take this 6-game suspension quietly and hope it never happens again. Because if it does, they might not be so lucky.