Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is once again suspended for six games. Fans have already been lamenting his loss in a season that was falling short of expectations even with him on the field.
Not so fast. A lot of people believe this thing isn’t done yet.
“It’s not final for multiple reasons,” wrote Mike Florio of NBC’s Pro Football Talk. “First, the NFL’s lawsuit aimed at defending the six-game suspension remains pending in New York. There, a judge could still delay the suspension via a preliminary injunction while the litigation proceeds. Second, the lawsuit filed by Elliott in Texas is, we’re told, ‘not over.’ As one source with knowledge of the situation explains it to PFT, Elliott could pursue various strategies before the federal court in Texas or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which issued Thursday’s decision dismissing the case because it was not filed on a timely basis. By rule, Elliott and the NFLPA have 14 days to file a petition for a rehearing.”
This lack of finality seems to support what NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on the air on Thursday, after the news broke.
“If he serves the suspension and then winds up winning the case later on, he can’t get those games back,” Garafolo said. “Yes, he can get the money back, but you can’t go back and get those games that he didn’t play and all the yardage that he could’ve compiled and all these things. If he does serve a suspension, even if it’s a case where he wins later, on in a lot of people’s minds ‘well he served the suspension so he must be guilty.’ That’s their argument for why there is irreparable harm, and why this thing should be stayed as the case plays out in the higher courts.”
This doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be suspended or that there’s no chance this sticks, but it also means this most recent ruling is perhaps not quite as dire as it first appeared.
Elliott has 393 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season. The 2-3 Cowboys have a bye this week, meaning there’s a bit more time to work things out before Elliott actually starts missing snaps.
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