Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot Six-Game Suspension Upheld
As expected when Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot and the NFLPA hurriedly filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on September 5, 2017, arbitrator Harold Henderson has upheld Elliot’s six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations. Elliot and the NFPLA had challenged the arbitration process, alleging it was fundamentally unfair. Henderson’s decision stated “[i]n a case involving violation of a policy, fair and consistent means whether the process and result were in compliance with the terms of that policy. This one is, in every respect.”
The TRO had been filed in attempt to freeze the suspension while Elliot and the NFPLA attempt to get it overturned. The NFL, in response to Henderson’s decision, quickly filed a motion to dismiss the TRO and seeking enforcement of the arbitration decision. The hearing on the TRO was held on Tuesday evening, but it will take Judge Mazzant a few days to decide whether to grant or deny it. The decision is expected by the afternoon of September 8.
The NFL will still allow Elliot to play in Sunday’s Week One game against the New York Giants because of the timing of Henderson’s decision, however Elliot’s availability for Week Two and beyond is in doubt. If Mazzant denies the TRO, Elliot would be suspended from the Cowboys’ second through seventh games, and would be eligible to play again in Week 9 versus the Kansas City Chiefs. However, in that case, Elliot’s attorney suggested he would still sue the League and try to reverse the suspension while Elliot serves it. “Mr. Elliott is looking forward to having his day in federal court where the playing field will be level and the NFL will have to answer for its unfair and unjust practices,” Elliott’s attorneys said in a statement. If Mazzant grants the TRO, Elliot would be free to continue playing while he continues to attempt to overturn the suspension permanently.