So by now I think we all know what is going on with Dallas Cowboy’s star running back, Ezekiel Elliott. The NFL wants to suspend Zeke for six games for allegedly assaulting his then girlfriend and Zeke, with the help of his legal team, wants to avoid the suspension. I am not really sure how it will play out, although the fact that his legal team is now trying to settle with the NFL makes me think that they don’t think they can win in court. That will play out later this week. This article, however, is meant to address public sentiment about the case, precedent based on previous spousal assault issues in the NFL, Zeke’s history of “conduct detrimental” and just how the Elliott suspension could affect the Cowboys match-ups with the Eagles.
So I want to start this out with the question, can we all agree that striking your significant other is wrong? First off, we don’t know what happened between Zeke and his ex-girlfriend, but this case seems to bring the worst out in people because it affects their sports team. This says a lot about these people, but that is an issue for another time. I do want to give an example though.
So there is a Cowboys fan in my office, who I happened to be talking about this with the other day. This person, who is also a parent, vehemently defended Zeke. Fine it’s your sports team I guess that’s fine. But the defense raised a few red flags. The person’s defense was that what Tom Brady was associated with in Deflategate is worse than if Ezekiel Elliott struck his ex-girlfriend…. When my co-worker said this, I had to confirm they meant what they said. They did. So, if you can’t say the words that deflating footballs is not as serious as striking your significant other, you need to examine things in your life.
So yeah, the question I asked in the beginning seems to not be as easy to answer for some people as others. Another thing people are talking about is that there is no precedent for suspending someone six games for these actions. I know Jerry Jones, the Owner and GM of the Dallas Cowboys, has consistently said Zeke is paying for the Commissioner’s mishandling of the Ray Rice case. I have a problem with the wording used by Jones. His wording makes it sound like this six game suspension was made up recently specifically for Zeke. This is not true. When Ray Rice was initially suspended by the NFL it was for two games. The horrific video of Rice hitting his wife in an elevator was then released by TMZ. Roger Goodell admitted after that event that he mishandled the situation and that going forward all domestic violence would be met with a six game suspension on the first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense.
For all those keeping score at home, this was made official in 2014…almost four years ago. So this was in place, not something new. And there are other examples of this exact scenario, which Cowboys fans should be very familiar with since they signed another alleged domestic abuser, Greg Hardy. He was given a six game suspension by the league for abusing his significant other, but it was eventually dropped to four games. So as you see this is not some witch hunt against Ezekiel Elliot, but more that the NFL is trying to crack down on these players beating their wives/girlfriends and there being no repercussions.
So, I want to make it clear again that I realize that Zeke was never charged ,although I don’t think it means he is innocent, especially when Columbus PD obviously would let things slide if OSU’s star player at the time could be on the field on Sundays. And that shows up alot. A few years ago a high school football team sexually assaulted a young woman. The police did nothing about it. A hack group, Anonymous, found the videos of the assault at which time the young men were charged. This happens all the time, so don’t be naive. Innocent until proven guilty is something I whole-heartedly believe in, but I do belive Elliottt should serve the suspension for one simple reason. The suspension is being handed down, not because of guilt in a court of law, but because of what is called “conduct detrimental” in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Even if it can’t be proven that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, we have to admit that this makes the league look bad and that is what he is being suspended for.
Now, I just want to touch on how this affects the Eagles. I don’t think it does. The Eagles in all aspects (more articles to come because I’ll have a lot of free time with the bye week) are better than the Cowboys this year. If Zeke is suspended, that is just amplified. It will be interesting to see how the “Dak Prescott is the best quarterback in the NFC East” when he will actually be judged on his QB play as opposed to just how the team does in general. So don’t fret Eagles fans, the Eagles will win regardless of what happens.
So, I’ll say it one last time, Ezekel Elliott hasn’t been charged with anything. I think Cowboys fans need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if your dad hit your mom, or your sister’s boyfriend hit her, would you defend him? I know if it were one of my sister’s or mom or any other woman, I wouldn’t be saying “Eh, Tom Brady was worse.” I also think people need to understand what the NFL is trying to accomplish with this. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to try to limit the amount of domestic abuse in the NFL.
Let me hear your thoughts on the issue! Don’t forget to hit the Follow button on the home page to receive e-mails when new articles are published. Also follow @birdsoffbroad on Twitter and Birds Off Broad on Facebook. And Go Birds!