Ezekiel Elliott suffered a big setback when he received a 6 game suspension stemming from a domestic violence dispute. And as we discussed before, this now puts the Cowboys in a tough situation heading into their early season gauntlet.
But there’s still hope because Elliott is appealing his suspension. And if this doesn’t work, he can take the case to federal court and potentially delay the suspension until the 2018 offseason.
The federal hearing could be Elliott’s best option because things don’t look good for his appeal right now. Let’s discuss what’s gone wrong for him, along with more on the potential for a delayed suspension.
Team Elliott Suffers 2 Losses
Elliott’s defense team hoped to strengthen their case through 2 ways:
- Getting an independent arbiter for the suspension hearing.
- Having Elliott’s accuser, Tiffany Thompson, appear for a cross-examination.
Representatives for Elliott wanted somebody besides former NFL executive Harold Henderson to hear his case. The reason why is because the NFLPA doesn’t believe that Henderson is a neutral party. However, commissioner Roger Goodell refused the request and asked Henderson to preside over the case anyways.
Elliott’s camp also asked that Thompson be available for cross-examination at the hearing. But Henderson declared that Thompson’s interviews and notes with investigators wouldn’t be available during the case.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the investigators’ materials may have revealed flaws in the probe and were considered vital by the NFLPA. This gives the NFL a much easier route towards denying Elliott’s appeal.
Elliott’s Federal Court Case
Obviously the appeal process isn’t going smoothly for Elliott. Yahoo also reports that the NFLPA and Elliott’s reps believe that they may have evidence of procedural violations during the investigation. And this could lead to a legitimate challenge in federal court.
Here’s more from Yahoo!:
“Sources have told Yahoo Sports that they believe they have it, via some of the same procedural collective bargaining arguments that opened the door for the union and quarterback Tom Brady to sue the NFL in deflate-gate. The sources declined to make the exact violations clear, but told Yahoo Sports that it involves all three of the aforementioned developments: naming Henderson as a partial arbitrator; failing to require Thompson to appear for cross-examination; and refusing to produce investigative material gathered when the NFL interviewed Thompson on multiple occasions.
“The sources also told Yahoo Sports another significant development for Elliott: The NFLPA has once again called upon its most powerful outside attack dog, attorney Jeffrey Kessler. The sources said Kessler will be a significant part of Elliott’s appeal and the likely federal case filing that will occur next. The same Kessler who has waged war with the NFL on multiple high-profile occasions, including representing Brady in deflate-gate and the last antitrust case filed against the league. His involvement is key, largely because he is one of the most versed attorneys in the United States when it comes to the NFL and attacking it on the collective bargaining front.”
Assuming Elliott’s attempts to win the appeal fail, he and the NFLPA are expected to immediately file a lawsuit in federal court.
Cowboys Odds still Taking a Hit without Elliott
Dallas is coming off a 13-3 season, and they have high hopes entering the 2017/18 campaign. But their current GTBets odds don’t necessarily reflect a Super Bowl champion.
We have them at +1400 for winning the Super Bowl, which is certainly good. But they trail or are even with the following teams:
- Atlanta Falcons +1200
- Green Bay Packers +1200
- New England Patriots +250
- Oakland Raiders +1400
- Pittsburgh Steelers +900
- Seattle Seahawks +900
The 22-year-old was the team’s workhorse running back last season, rushing for 1,631 yards and 11 touchdowns on 322 carries. He also caught 32 passes for 363 yards and a touchdown.
Elliott will be a vital part of the Cowboys’ offense in the 2017/18 season. Unfortunately, it looks like Dallas may be missing him for a large chunk of the season. The only way this will change is if he’s able to win his appeal (unlikely) or a federal court case.