The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott has officially begun, with the running back missing the Dallas Cowboys’ game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
That means that Elliott has to stay away from the team until Christmas Eve, unless a court decides differently on the next appearance on Dec. 1. Elliott according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, is getting away from it all — really, really away.
“I am told he is leaving the country to an undisclosed location to completely reset, clear his head, train and come back in late December for the Cowboys in the best shape he has been in,” Rapoport said.
Elliott was suspended six games in August for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after an investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident that Elliott was not prosecuted for and that he denies. As his appeals wound their way through the courts, the suspension was pushed back and it now begins at a critical time for the Cowboys. They take a three-game winning streak into the game against the Falcons, with a 5-3 record trailing the NFC East-leading, 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott was just rounding into form, having rushed for over 100 yards in three of his last four games (with 93 in the fourth) for a 126.5 rushing average over those four games.
The Cowboys presently are seventh in the NFC and their owner, rather than Elliott, is devouring headlines for his battle royale with other owners over the contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell. It’s a revolt that exposes rare fissures within the NFL as it continues to be buffeted by controversies that threaten what was once considered an unassailable business model, as The Post’s Mark Maske and Kent Babb write. Never mind that just months ago, Jones was one of the owners who voted to proceed with a new contract for Goodell. That was before the commissioner suspended Elliott, for six games.
This isn’t just Jones attempting to seize control of a process that once omitted him and, he believed, overpaid the commissioner. It is perhaps the NFL’s most powerful owner questioning the wisdom and intentions of his fellow owners — a declaration of war.
No wonder Elliott is getting away.
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