Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reiterated his support of Ezekiel Elliott on Tuesday with the second-year running back in New York appealing his six-game suspension.
“Unfortunately you get confused in this conversation,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “Every person that has any sense at all understands domestic violence and abhors it. On the other hand, I’ve had a lot of experience in this area. For 10 years before I bought the Cowboys I was the head of (a) battered women (organization) of Arkansas. I raised more money and been in more safe houses than a lot of people that talk about it and so it’s a terrible problem.
“On the other hand with what we are today and what we’re trying to be relative to addressing it in the league, (it) has all kinds of issues and it should. It’s a very complicated issue because you have no evidence here. That’s all I want to say about it. But it creates quite a convoluted approach by Zeke’s representatives and by the league that I really hate is a focus of all of our attention. I do. Even though others would say that the issue needs this kind of focus and you’re using the NFL for visibility.”
Arbitrator Harold Henderson, who was appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the appeal, does not have a time frame in which to make a decision once the hearing concludes.
The 22-year-old Elliott was suspended by the NFL on Aug. 11 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The ban stems from the league’s 13 month-long investigation into domestic violence accusations made against Elliott by his former girlfriend.
Elliott is accused by Thompson of five domestic assault incidents in July 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. Elliott denied the allegations and was never charged or arrested.
The suspension is scheduled to begin Sept. 2 and Elliott is eligible to return to the Cowboys’ roster on Oct. 23, one day after the team’s Week 7 road game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Elliott is coming off a sensational season in which he rushed for a Cowboys rookie-record 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. He led the NFL in rushing yards.