LOS ANGELES — A day after the Dallas Cowboys learned that they could be without Ezekiel Elliott for the first six games of the season, they expressed support for their teammate, but Jason Witten’s perspective comes from a different place.
As a child, Witten’s family was affected by domestic violence, and his foundation serves women and families that have experienced it.
“Look, there’s no place for a man to put his hand on a woman, and most of you guys know that it’s a situation that’s affected my family as a kid, and I put a lot of work and attention and have a platform to step out and speak on stopping domestic violence,” Witten said after Saturday’s 13-10 preseason loss to the Los Angeles Rams. “Having said that, Zeke is continuing to work through it, and he’s talked about that. The game and all that stuff, that’s not what you deal with. He’s our teammate, and we’ll continue to work through it with him and have this opportunity to grow from it, and I think that’s what his focus is now.”
The NFL announced the suspension Friday after a 13-month investigation into allegations that Elliott engaged in physical violence against a former girlfriend in July 2016. Elliott is expected to file his appeal of the NFL’s ruling on Tuesday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Elliott made a statement via social media Friday but did not address reporters as he left the Coliseum with a member of the Cowboys’ security team.
Elliott’s father, Stacy, on Sunday told E:60 in a statement that he was “surprised and very disappointed with [the] NFL’s decision and disagree with the league’s findings.”
“I am 100% confident that Ezekiel’s legal team will be able to show the world that he never abused this young lady!” Stacy Elliott said in the statement. “Ezekiel was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys at 20 yrs old. So he isn’t perfect. But I am confident he will continue to learn from his life experiences.”
Coach Jason Garrett said the team had a meeting about the situation, but Elliott did not address his teammates.
“We talked to our team about the situation and the importance of focusing on what we can control. We can’t control what the NFL does,” Garrett said. “It’s not my place to comment on whether I think it’s justified.”
Teammates were surprised at the length of the discipline, especially since owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on multiple occasions that he did not anticipate a suspension after seeing the information the NFL had.
“We are behind him 100…