Second year Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games by the NFL for violating the personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday (Aug. 11).
The decisions comes after a year-long investigation, following accusations of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio by an ex-girlfriend. While the Columbus City Attorney’s office announced last fall that it would not pursue charges against Elliott because of “conflicting and inconsistent information,” the NFL had the opportunity to penalize a player… even without legal charges.
Reps said in a statement that Elliott plans to appeal the suspension. “The NFL’s findings are replete with factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions and it ‘cherry picks’ so called evidence to support its conclusion while ignoring other critical evidence,” Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum said in the statement, via ESPN.
Without an appeal, the suspension would begin Sept. 2 and he would be eligible to return to the active roster Oct. 23, the day after the Cowboys’ Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
If the decision is not overturned in his appeal, it could prove costly for the 22-year-old. He will lose his base-salary pay, while the guarantees in his $24.96 million deal will be voided. ESPN notes that he received a signing bonus of $16.35 million… and once he misses games, he will have to pay back some of the signing-bonus money. For each game missed, Elliott will have to repay about $240,000.
This comes after a huge rookie season for Elliott. After being picked with the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, he led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,631 yards on 322 carries. He also scored 15 rushing touchdowns and caught 32 passes for 363 yards with one touchdown.
Elliott was also named to the Pro Bowl.
With thier main back out, the Cowboys will need to lean on Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Alfred Morris.