After 13 months, a final decision from the NFL regarding its investigation of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will be rendered sooner than later.
It could happen as early as Friday.
And while remains speculation outside the organization that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will give Elliott a short suspension under the personal conduct policy in regards to a domestic violence allegation from a former girlfriend as well as a build up of conduct concerns, the Cowboys firmly believe the 2016 NFL leading rusher will escape any discipline.
Owner Jerry Jones has said repeatedly that the NFL has no case and Elliott will not be suspended.
His players believe the same and have given no consideration to playing any games without Elliott in 2017.
“He is going to be there,” receiver Dez Bryant said. “I know that. We are not even thinking about that. I haven’t even thought about that.”
Tight end Jason Witten allowed that the team would miss Elliott if he was suspended for any games because the running game is the strength of the team and he is the best in the league.
“We are confident it’s going to work out,” Witten said of the investigation. “We look forward to him participating, being out there playing and continuing to grow as a player on and off the field. We are fairly confident it’s going to be good.”
Elliott, 22, was initially investigated by the NFL for domestic violence allegations made against him by an ex girlfriend in July 2016. The Columbus, Ohio city prosecutor’s office declined to pursue charges in early September because of inconsistent information from the victim.
The league, however, does not need a legal charge in order to hand Elliott a suspension under its personal conduct policy.
Along with the domestic violence allegations, Elliott has made headlines for the wrong reasons this offseason too. He exposed a woman’s breast during a St. Patrick’s Day parade and allegedly got into a bar altercation days before the Cowboys left for training camp.