Federal appeals court rules against Dallas Cowboys' Zeke Elliott; six-game ban likely to begin in Week 7

Court lifted injunction blocking Cowboys RB Elliott's six-game personal conduct suspension

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The Cowboys entered the bye week after a heartbreaking loss to the Packers, and it appears they'll emerge from the open date without reigning NFL rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott.

The fifth circuit court of appeals in New Orleans on Thursday lifted an injunction blocking Elliott's six-game suspension, handed down by the league in August for a personal conduct violation. The court ruled 2-1 in favor of the NFL, saying the NFLPA acted too quickly in its filing, which occurred before NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson had officially rejected Elliott's appeal.

Further, the court ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant, who granted Elliott a temporary injunction in Texas last month, lacked jurisdiction in his finding.

The NFL released the following statement following its win in court over the NFLPA.

"Earlier today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the preliminary injunction that prohibited the league from imposing the six-game suspension issued to Ezekiel Elliott for a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. The Court also directed the district court to dismiss the union's lawsuit, which was filed on Elliott's behalf. As a result, Elliott's suspension will begin effective immediately. Elliott is eligible to return to the team on Friday, November 24 following the Cowboys' Thursday, November 23 game against the Los Angeles Chargers."

The Cowboys are on bye this week, before visiting the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 22. If Elliott serves his six-game suspension beginning in Week 7 as expected, he'll miss games at Niners, at Washington, vs. the Chiefs, at the Falcons, vs. the Eagles and vs. the Chargers.

Elliott played the first five games for the Cowboys as the NFL and NFLPA legal battle transpired, rushing 105 times for 393 yards (3.7 YPC) and two touchdowns.

Elliott's attorney, Frank Salzano, released the following statement, obtained by PFT, on behalf of his client late Thursday afternoon.

"We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days. Until that time, we have no further comment on the 5th circuit's decision."

It's expected Elliott will file another appeal and attempt to remain on the field as long as the legal process is ongoing.

Elliott, the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, was originally banned six games for allegedly abusing his former girlfriend in Columbus, Ohio, in July 2016. He was never charged with a crime, but the NFL conducted an independent investigation that spanned more than 13 months and included phone records and photos documenting Elliott's alleged abuse of then-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson.

Pro Football Weekly