SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes details Ezekiel Elliot’s six-game suspension, as well as what an appeal could look like and how this impacts the Cowboys on the field.
USA TODAY Sports
Maybe the six-game suspension for Ezekiel Elliott – and the statement the damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t NFL needed to make against domestic violence – will be a much-needed wakeup call.
Even with the vast gray area attached to the case, including Tiffany Thompson lying to police about getting yanked out of a car by Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys star has been seemingly living on the edge.
No, Elliott has never been arrested or charged in any of the incidents where his name has popped up.
But the multiple incidents that prompted the NFL’s 13-month investigation, in addition to another episode in Florida in 2016, on top of allegations that he broke a man’s nose during a melee in a Dallas nightclub and also the foolish decision to pull down a woman’s top in public – while under NFL investigation, mind you – cost Elliott enormous benefit of the doubt.
“I admit that I am far from perfect,” Elliott said in a tweet on Friday, “but I plan to continue to work very hard, on and off the field, to mature and earn the right opportunity that I have been given.”
Dude, grow up fast … before your potentially amazing career is over.
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Elliott, 22, is hardly the first young, rich and famous football player to hang out on the wild side. But that’s no excuse for crossing the line marked by domestic violence, even when this case is complicated by an apparent threat from Thompson, his former girlfriend, to “ruin” his career.
Surely, there are bones to pick with the NFL’s process in this matter, which can be flushed out during Elliott’s appeal. As well-intentioned as the league’s domestic violence policy may be, players can be targets, too, because of the very get-tough policy the league was compelled to institute in the wake of the Ray Rice fiasco.
Elliott’s representatives allege that the NFL “cherry picked” some evidence while ignoring other key evidence. Considering some other cases in recent years – including Deflategate and Bountygate – the NFL is not above question when it comes to process, motivation and conclusions.
Still, something apparently happened, as the league…