Jerry Jones expects Ezekiel Elliott to play Week 1
The Dallas Cowboys are still awaiting the NFL’s decision on whether or not disciplinary action will be taken against Ezekiel Elliott, but the team is preparing as though the star running back will not be suspended.
Speaking with NBC’s Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels during the Hall of Fame Game Thursday night, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked if he expects Elliott to play Week 1 against the New York Giants.
“There are a couple of issues that might or might not fall — and that’s going to be up to the league to the decide — under the behavioral guidelines,” Jones said, via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. “But in my opinion, we’re preparing our team for Zeke and should.”
The NFL began by investigating domestic abuse allegations Elliott’s ex-girlfriend made against him last summer. Since then, Elliott has made headlines for several other questionable situations he has involved himself in. According to Jones, the NFL is trying to make a decision on the “other things” and has closed the book on the domestic violence case.
“The domestic violence is not an issue,” Jones said. “Zeke has had some other things that have been looked at and are being looked at. But from the domestic violence issue, there’s not an issue. I think that my hope is that Zeke is with us opening night, and I don’t want to get into anything that might in any way influence negatively that decision from the league office.”
Elliott did not face charges when his ex-girlfriend said he assaulted her, but that does not mean the NFL can’t discipline him for it. The 22-year-old also made the unwise decision to pull down a woman’s top at a St. Patrick’s Day parade, and more recently he was investigated for his alleged involvement in a fight at a Dallas bar.
Because he has found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on several occasions, the NFL could — and likely will — punish Elliott in some way. Jones seems confident that won’t come in the form of a suspension, but that could be wishful thinking.