The Dallas Cowboys plan to give suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott a couple of days off to prepare for his appeal hearing at the NFL headquarters in New York.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Friday that Elliott will be excused from practice Monday and Tuesday to prepare for his appeal hearing. Elliott will attend the hearing, according to a source.
Elliott has been suspended for the first six games of the regular-season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, stemming from domestic violence allegations made against him in July 2016.
Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will not make a filing on Elliott’s behalf, but the team will have a representative at the hearing. Jones made the comments during a ceremony to open the Omni Hotel as part of The Star.
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Elliott continues to deny the domestic violence allegations of his former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. The Columbus, Ohio, city prosecutor declined to pursue charges against Elliott. However, the NFL suspended Elliott earlier this month after a year-long investigation.
Jones refused to comment on reports that Elliott’s accuser will not be required to testify at the hearing.
Elliott is still eligible to practice and play in preseason games. He is expected to make his preseason debut Saturday against Oakland at AT&T Stadium.
Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys have approached training camp and the preseason as though Elliott will be on the field for the season opener Sept. 10 against the New York Giants.
But Elliott’s status hangs in the balance awaiting the results of Tuesday’s hearing, which will be heard by arbitrator Harold Henderson.
There is no specific timeline as to when Henderson will make a decision and Jones didn’t want to speculate after the league took more than a year to investigate the situation.
“Timing with the league, as we all know, there’s not such thing as timing,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t want to speculate what their timing is.”
If Henderson upholds the suspension or doesn’t reduce it to Elliott’s liking, Elliott could pursue other legal avenues to delay a possible suspension.
Elliott was the NFL’s rushing champ as a rookie with 1,631 yards on 322 carries. He also scored 15 touchdowns.
Veterans Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris are expected to pick up the bulk of the carries should Elliott miss games.