For over a year, the NFL has been conducting an investigation into Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys. It began as a domestic violence situation, but has now become a far murkier situation. Legally, there was never a case filed against Elliott. Things more or less fell apart there for a variety of reasons. But subsequently, Elliott drew the attention of the league with an ill-advised (although completely legal) visit to a marijuana shop in Washington state and an even more questionable instance of exposing a woman’s breast during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Finally, after so many times we were told a resolution was imminent only to have them fall through, there are multiple reports from reporters that it is finally happening on Friday.
Clarity coming on #Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott: The ruling on his investigation is expected soon, source said. Could be as early as tomorrow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 10, 2017
There are still conflicting reports about what the outcome will be. Jerry Jones and various other members of the Cowboys organization have stated that they expect no suspension, while others predict one, two, four, or even more games. In the case of any suspension, there will be an appeal filed, as the Cowboys have taken a public stance that there are no real grounds for a suspension under the original focus of the investigation.
The big problem for Elliott and the Cowboys is that the league has absolutely no restrictions on how it can change the focus of the investigation, or what it bases any ruling on. Due to the NFLPA handing carte blanche over to the league in disciplinary matters under the current CBA, it basically comes down to what the league office, and ultimately Roger Goodell, decide they want to do. There are a lot of underlying issues involved here, and until the league releases its ruling, we don’t know exactly what their reasoning is.
The one thing that has puzzled many observers is just how long this has drug on. The original incident that started the investigation was over a year ago. If things were extended due to the later incidents, that is within the league’s basically unbounded rights.
There will be much more to discuss once we know what the investigation concluded. For now, we at least are getting some resolution - we think.