Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he was disappointed with the six-game suspension of star running back Ezekiel Elliott for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
But Jones said the Cowboys knew a suspension was a possible after a year-long domestic violence investigation and prepared for it.
Topping the list of options are two veterans — Darren McFadden, who started Saturday night against the Rams and Alfred Morris. Both are former 1,000-yard rushers. Ronnie Hilman is a former starter, and the rising Rod Smith may be having the best training camp of all the backups.
“We knew that the investigation was ongoing and whenever you prepare for a football team you prepare for injury,” Jones said on the Cowboys pre-game radio show on 105.3 The Fan. “You prepare for things that are unexpected. And certainly, we have done that and are comfortable with who we are on this football team. If we have to play with other running backs, we like the running backs on this team. But, at the end of the day, we certainly support Zeke.
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“At the same time, we understand the very, very, very serious nature of domestic violence, certainly that people should be held accountable if that takes place.”
Elliott was held out of Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams but will play in the next two games, per Jones. Elliott is allowed to practice and play in the preseason but will be barred from the facility once the regular season begins.
“We’ll play Zeke,” Jones said. “Nothing will change in terms of how we play Zeke in the preseason.”