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Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott drops appeal and will serve entire six-game suspension

Ezekiel Elliott will serve his entire six-game suspension (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has decided to serve his entire six-game suspension by the NFL under its personal-conduct policy without making any further legal attempts to have it lifted or reduced, according to a statement released Wednesday by his representatives.

Elliott has served one game of the suspension. He next will be eligible to play for the Cowboys on Dec. 24.

“In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent Second Circuit decisions, Mr. Elliott has decided to forego any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension,” the statement released by Elliott’s agent and attorney said. “This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr. Elliott’s desire for closure in this matter is in his best interests, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends.

“This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by him and his team resulted in the disclosure of many hidden truths regarding this matter, as well public exposure of the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process. Mr. Elliott will maximize this time away from the game and come back even stronger both on and off the field. He intends to release a final personal statement in the upcoming weeks and until then we have no further comment.”

Elliott’s next appeal of the court ruling denying him an injunction had been scheduled for Dec. 1.

The NFL Players Association challenged the suspension in federal courts on Elliott’s behalf and managed to delay implementation of it for half of the season. But Elliott most recently was denied an injunction and began serving the suspension when the Cowboys lost Sunday at Atlanta.

The union said it likewise was abandoning its legal fight on Elliott’s behalf.

On behalf of all players, the Union appealed the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott to its logical conclusion and we are withdrawing our lawsuit,” a written statement issued by the NFLPA said.

 “Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL’s disciplinary process as a sham and a lie. They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in ‘experts’ and imposed a process with the stated goal of ‘getting it right,’ yet the [NFL owners’] management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system.”

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