There has been no resolution as of yet to the two potential issues hanging over the head of Ezekiel Elliott. He, and the Cowboys, are still waiting for a final decision about any punishment/suspension for the domestic violence allegations made last year against Elliott, and reportedly a few other off-field actions that have cast Elliott in a negative light. Sources had indicated that the NFL was taking into account all of Elliott’s actions, not just the unproven DV allegations. Separately, but not totally unrelated, the Dallas police are investigating an altercation at a nightclub where it’s been reported that witnesses claim Elliott punched another man, although there is at least one witness who claims it wasn’t Elliott. What the Dallas police determine in this case could also play into the overall evaluation of the NFL in determining any punishment.
Today, Jerry Jones told the media that he has talked to Elliott since the bar incident occurred, but he would not go into any specifics about the situation. He indicated that there are more specifics to get about the incident. Additionally, Jones said he hasn’t spoken to the NFL about the altercation, and that he doesn't know the status of the possibility of punishment for the domestic abuse allegations.
What Jerry did say could lead one to believe that a suspension is definitely a possibility, maybe even a probability. In the past, Jones has been adamant that Elliott would be cleared by the NFL and that no suspension would be forthcoming, but today, his tune had changed slightly.
"I don't want to speculate about any decisions from the league or any potential injury or lack of having a player available," Jones said. "Availability is a key. Ability is a key. But availability is a key, and we really do plan, personnel-wise, we plan for a player not being available. That's just part of our DNA."
This seems like Jones is admitting that they are prepared for the possibility of not having Zeke for some period of time. Granted, it’s reading between the lines, but this tone is certainly a shift from previous responses that basically precluded Elliott from missing any time. Jones may be reading the tea leaves and divining that the league is likely to issue some sort of suspension, even if its a short one, maybe a game or two.
Jones also spoke about how the spotlight is on the players, especially because they play for the Cowboys, a franchise that is always attracting media coverage. In the end, his message to all the Cowboys players who are finding themselves in trouble is this:
"I think the biggest message is not one that has to be stated, and that is your actions impact an entire team, it impacts an entire fan base," Jones said. "There's a lot of responsibility there. Then I think to the team it's a reminder of the interest that's in your actions and your behavior, and it's not dissimilar from the message that you have when you sit down with a child and a young person when you're talking about how they represent everybody. The message is really pretty simple, and it's one that you would naturally see: Try to think about your activities when you're involved in them."