Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for six games Friday for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy, this after his ex-girlfriend accused him of assaulting her three times during a five-day period in July 2016.
As of now, Elliott would not be eligible to return to action until a Week 8 road game against Washington on Oct. 29
“Ezekiel Elliott in the instance – with the limited knowledge that we have, which is only the public knowledge – it seems to me that he has put himself in this situation, and he is repeatedly putting himself in this situation, and he’s had other excursions in the public eye that don’t look upon him favorably,” Emmy-winning sportscaster Jim Gray said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “It (seems) to me that he (needs) to . . . (start) correcting (his behavior) and stop doing this stuff. The NFL is now caught in between this rock and a hard place of having to adjudicate something that the authorities wouldn’t.”
The Columbus City Attorney’s office elected not to pursue charges against Elliott due to “conflicting and inconsistent information.” The NFL, however, can suspend players even without criminal charges.
The fourth overall pick in 2016, Elliott led the NFL in rushing (1,631) as a rookie and carried the Cowboys (13-3) to the best record in the NFC.
“Unfortunately, in the minds of football fans, if he can continue carrying the football and (being) productive, that seems to obscure and override anything that he might have done that would have had a societal impact, no matter how negative it was,” Gray said. “So the fact that he can get 1,600 yards and score all these touchdowns and make all first downs, he will be able to overcome that just because of the fanaticism that people will have for the Cowboys and all of that.
“But there’s also a much bigger picture here,” Gray continued. “If he can straighten himself out and if he can be better tomorrow than he was yesterday, even though he hans’t been criminally charged in this – you can’t be on a float lifting up some lady’s shirt and exposing (her). You just can’t do some of the things that he’s done. Some of these things just take a change in behavior, a different thought process, better guidance, and maturity. We can only hope for that because he is a wonderful talent and we all want to see him play football.
“I think a lot of people who cover the game and are fans of the game would like to see him succeed as an athlete – but probably more importantly, they would like him to have a productive, clean life that’s law-abiding and not engaging in this type of behavior.”