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The Fallout From The Ezekiel Elliott Suspension

What now for Zeke and Dallas?

The 2017 NFL preseason just begun, and we already have a big casualty. It is Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, and it’s not due to injury.

A star running back for Dallas, “Zeke” Elliott was suspended for the first six games of the regular season. It’s no laughing matter, and that’s not a commentary about the football. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension is a result of an investigation stemming from domestic violence allegations.

Domestic violence is a huge problem for the National Football League, and knowing that, the league threw the book at him.

Why The Ezekiel Elliott Suspension?

Specifically, the former Ohio State standout and second-year Cowboy is accused of domestic violence against a woman. That individual allegedly bore injuries as a result of physical force by Elliott. According to the NFL’s findings, this occurred on the week of July 16, 2016, just over a year ago.

No criminal charges were filed as a result of the alleged incident.

Ezekiel Elliott: Is It Right To Say He Was Done Wrong?

The attorneys for Elliott had not a good thing to say about the NFL’s announcement yesterday. In part, they stated that the league were guided by “factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions.” Elliott himself took exception at what the NFL decided.

A name you’re going to hear for the next few days is Ray Rice. He infamously clocked his fiancee in an elevator several years ago while playing for the Baltimore Ravens. The spectacle that followed brought further shame to the NFL, the Ravens, and Rice himself. Rice received an initial two-game suspension. It wasn’t until TMZ publicized the video that the NFL got caught with their pants down, so to speak. The Ravens cut him and the league suspended Rice indefinitely. It was a mess, and from that and several other high-profile cases, the NFL suffered PR crises.

His lawyers can suggest that the evidence is incomplete all they want. The NFL could not afford to spare Elliott given their dismal history handling domestic violence allegations. If that leads some to say he’s being punished too severely compared to others, so be it. When the NFL wants to make an example of someone, they do.

Nevertheless, PFT pointed out all the times the NFL failed to uphold their own six-game standard. The injustice here isn’t that Ezekiel Elliott is getting six games — it’s that those other guys didn’t.

Now What For Dallas Without Ezekiel Elliott?

Tom Brady got four games for potentially, maybe knowing someone else was underinflating footballs. If his suspension remained in full effect, Elliott’s will as well. This is not to compare the two allegations, as one is clearly worse than the other.

Jason Whitlock thinks Dallas is going to have a losing record as a result. Going back to the past example, Brady missed four games last year and the Pats won the Super Bowl. No question, this is going to hurt the Cowboys, but let’s not assume the Giants are an NFC East lock just yet.

In that span, Dallas plays the following schedule: vs. NYG, at DEN, at ARI, vs. LAR, vs. GB, and at SF. This assumes the suspension isn’t held in abeyance for a long period while being appealed. The Cowboys are better than the Rams and 49ers, and would have a respectable chance in the other four. Unless they go 0-6 or 1-5 in that stretch, Dallas will be fine. Remember, they still have a capable Dak Prescott, and their line play is exceptional. The sky isn’t going to fall, most likely.

Sure, a mediocre start could cost them the division, but probably not the whole season.

Starting in September: See our NFL playoff picture page.

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