Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted he might have spoken a little louder than normal in a recent conversation with Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, regarding domestic violence allegations against rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Jones and Friel had what some reports called a heated exchange at the recent league meetings in Houston, although Jones wouldn’t describe it as such.
“We had a good discussion and that’s about where I’ll leave it at,” Jones said as he spoke to several reporters. “We were in a situation where people were close like this and we probably might’ve gotten a little louder tone. But it was in a situation where I was having to talk over the music.
“Certainly the volume of it had to do with the noise in there.”
Elliott has been cleared by the Columbus (Ohio) city prosecutor’s office of any criminal wrongdoing, although the NFL has an open investigation. The league has authority to suspend players even if they are not legally charged.
Jones said he does not know if there will ever be full closure on the situation.
“I don’t know that the NFL has a closure,” Jones said. “That’s one of the challenges in dealing with these sensitive social issues. ... Obviously we’re not for bullying and certainly, certainly, certainly not for the issue of domestic violence.
“But that area there is one that we’re having to get our hands around.”
Elliott and league investigators spoke more than a month ago about the situation, but the issue has come to the forefront in the wake of the NFL’s handling of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown’s domestic violence incident.
Elliott has maintained his innocence since an ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence over the summer, and the Cowboys have stood behind him.
“People that have a lot more information than I have have given him a total clean bill of health,” Jones said. “I do know that all the real information that anybody has is that he doesn’t have an issue.”
Still, this issue doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon for Elliott or the Cowboys.