Add Tony Romo to the list who are going to bat for Ezekiel Elliott in the wake of his latest off-field incident.
The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback went to the radio airwaves to defend Elliott, the standout running back who finds himself on the fringe of a possible NFL suspension.
“With Zeke, he’s a friend and I know he’s a good kid and he’s just trying to find his way,” Romo said on the “Ben and Skin Show” on 105.3 The Fan.
“He’s going to be in a position that’s always going to be in the spotlight. People are going to take photos. They’re going to talk about it.”
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Elliott, who turns 22 on Saturday, made headlines last weekend for a bar incident in Dallas. Dallas police have suspended the investigation into the incident “due to the lack of a complaint.” No witnesses have come forward and investigators have been unable to reach a 30-year-old male who was punched in the nose during an altercation.
The NFL is looking into the incident, adding the list of things that Elliott has done to draw negative attention to himself. The league still hasn’t closed its investigation into domestic violence allegations made against Elliott almost a year ago.
Elliott has also had missteps in visiting a marijuana dispensary during a preseason game in Seattle last preseason; exposing a woman’s breast during a St. Patrick’s Day parade; and being issued a speeding ticket.
Romo, who is now the lead NFL analyst for CBS Sports, seems to feel that Elliott will get on track eventually.
“He’s figuring it out,” Romo said. “Obviously he’s made some choices he reflects back and wished he’d done it a little different, but at the same time there’s just not a lot of people who are thrust into this spotlight this soon at that age. Really in the National Football League, there’s only a few of them.
“I always want to give people a little grace period, a little time and the fact that I know him, the fact that I know his personality and how much good he does off the field and how good he is with people, I think he’s going to figure it out and be fine.
“But like we say, you always take responsibility and try and improve in all facets of life.”
Coach Jason Garrett defended Elliott on Wednesday, saying he’s a player the organization believes “strongly” in. Garrett planned to meet with Elliott when veterans report for physicals on Friday.
Elliott and owner Jerry Jones have already discussed the bar incident in Dallas.
The Cowboys are scheduled to fly to Oxnard, California on Saturday and begin training camp with their first practice on Monday.
Elliott had a standout rookie season, leading the league in rushing with 1,631 yards on 322 carries with 15 touchdowns. He also had 363 receiving yards and a TD.