The story that has taken over the NFL, and even the sports world, all summer long. A case that has needed to be set straight when the first pieces of evidence came out in July 2016. Tiffany Thomson came out and said that she had been physically abused by her former boyfriend and Dallas Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott. This was not the only speed bump that Ezekiel Elliott ran into this offseason. Elliott was not charged, but he allegedly punched a DJ at a nightclub in Dallas, exposed the breasts of a woman he had sex with, and now has admitted to using illicit drugs in college. Now, all these other things are shoved to side due to the bigger problem at hand. The NFL’s investigation has led them to believe that the accusation from Tiffany Thomson is true. So, the NFL handed Ezekiel Elliott a six-game suspension without pay. Ezekiel Elliott appealed the suspension, but the NFL decided to uphold the suspension. However, Elliott will be playing the first game of the season on Sunday against the Giants.
American football is a money driven industry. In our technologically advanced world today, there are so many more outlets that make football a little bit more interesting to watch. There is fantasy football, FanDuel and DraftKings, sports betting websites and more. That is why when the 2016 leading rusher was notified of a suspension, everyone was in disarray. Arms went flying in the air with disgust because so many people’s fantasy football teams were ruined. Individuals are trying to figure out whether Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris has the better value. Moreover, what the Dallas Cowboys offense is going to look like without their young superstar. My response to those people is, who cares. Who cares, if the Dallas Cowboys have a sub-par run defense because Zeke can’t touch the field. Who cares, if your fantasy football team sucks because you picked Zeke in the first round. Who cares. This suspension is bigger than football. After the Ray Rice case in 2014, the NFL said any physical abuse case would be an automatic six-game suspension. This means that the NFL has enough evidence to say that Ezekiel Elliott laid his hands on a woman. Todd Jones, the NFL’s special counsel for conduct, reported that “there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016”. People are getting so fiery because Thomson is “harassing” Ezekiel Elliott. Yes, I probably would too if I was a victim of a case like this.
Sports Illustrated posted a great article concerning Zeke’s suspension. One of the paragraph’s pin points the importance of this whole ordeal.
“I don’t know if Elliott is guilty, or worthy of a six-game ban. But from reading the reports of this case, I sincerely hope the Cowboys do not simply fight for his freedom so he’ll be able to play the maximum number of football games this year. This guy needs to grow up.”
Look, Elliott is young and was thrown right into stardom. Young people make mistakes, but the biggest factor in making a mistake is taking ownership for what you have done wrong.
Jerry Jones’ name has been floating around throughout this summer as well. Inducted into the hall of fame in August, but also “anticipated” no suspension for his star running back. When the suspension came out, Jones was upset but understood why the NFL came to that conclusion. Colin Cowherd on his podcast The Herd, talked about how when Jerry Jones turned 70 he started to do whatever he want:
“Jerry Jones turned 70 in 2014. When men go into their 70s, it’s bucket list time, it’s I don’t give a rip time. It’s about getting another ring, and I’ll do whatever it takes and I don’t care what you think. Jerry Jones hit 70 years old. [The Dallas Cowboys] have two playoff wins in 20 years, and Jerry is tired of it. Jerry has always been a risk taker”
Jerry Jones has been taking risks on players for a long time now. From 2014 to 2017 the Cowboys had 16 players suspended for a total of 106 games. Jerry Jones took a risk on defensive end Greg Hardy, except he is now out of the league because of countless suspensions. Jones took a risk on defensive end Randy Gregory, and he has now failed seven drug tests and is suspended for a very long time. Jones took a risk on linebacker Rolando McClain, and even after being given a second chance he is now out of the league. Now, Jones took a risk on Ezekiel Elliott with a fourth overall pick in 2016. There were multiple reports saying that Zeke was not ready for show time. Ezekiel Elliot’s father even said that he was not ready to be an NFL athlete. His father said he would struggle to handle the responsibility of a professional athlete. Blend this notion with an unbelievable rookie year, and the young man thinks he’s superman. Unfortunately, rules still apply to superman.
Jerry Jones is still one of the most influential owners in the NFL, and was inducted into the hall of fame for a reason. However, Jerry Jones is a better owner when the Cowboys are losing. Jones becomes too involved with the football operations when the Cowboys are winning. Yes, he is the owner and is supposed to be involved, but it is better when he stays in his office. Why do I say this you ask? Well, the Cowboys have not had back-to-back 10 win seasons since 1996. This is a telling stat because Jones has driven out hall of fame coaches like Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcels after phenomenal seasons.
As of right now, Ezekiel Elliott will be playing the whole 2017 season. The Texas Court granted Elliott’s request for a restraining order against the NFL. This gave Elliott the ability to play Sunday against the New York Giants, where he put on a beautiful running display. Zeke rushed 24 times for 104 yards, running 4.3 yards each carry.
However, the NFL filed an appealed of the injunction granted to Ezekiel Elliott. This will still allow Elliott to play until there is a final decision. According to Daniel Wallach, the NFL’s appeal is a “long shot”. Only 7.2 percent of appeals for reversal were successful in 2016.
September 8th, 2017
September 11th, 2017
The Cowboys could still be in for a whirlwind this season. Ezekiel Elliott made a mistake that he needs to own up to and do something about. Elliott is lucky he had a great season because if he was not so talented he would be watching football on Sundays with Ray Rice and Josh Brown for the rest of his life.