My plan had been to write a piece to get everyone a little fired up for the start of training camp at the end of the week. The player I was focusing on was Ezekiel Elliot. Believe we all woke up to the news of Zeke supposedly being involved in a bar room fight, whereby an unnamed person suffered a broken nose. My original story line died instantly, videos archived, etc. These reports go on to a claim by one person, that Zeke was the one who threw the punch resulting in this injury. It’s 11:40 AM PST and there’s no confirmation on this at this point that I’ve found. That’s not to say that it happened or didn’t happen, but we need to wait on the actual police report. There have been no arrests to this point.
The larger issue for the Cowboys fans are that the league (Roger Goodell) was reportedly ready to suspend Zeke for the cumulative off field activities, where he’s had accusations or videos that don’t put him in a great light. We can all have our opinions on that. I believe we all thought that the domestic violence accusations were over with, as the police didn’t find anything rising to the level of charges being handed down. Conflicting reports and eyewitnesses at the alleged altercation said that nothing happened from those who were there. That was also before the NFL Draft, so I don’t see how they can use that against Zeke. But then Goodell doesn’t need much wiggle room to hand down a suspension. Zeke walked into a marijuana dispensary in Portland last season. Smart move, NO! But it doesn’t rise to the level of a violation of any league rule. Just an awful decision. Curiosity is a dangerous thing.
Zeke had another unwise move and that was at a Mardi Gras like party in Dallas for St. Patrick’s Day. Video clearly showed him pulling a woman’s top down to expose her breast. That’s crossing a line that he should be far smarter about and that’s unacceptable. These things are puzzling, no question?
I’m sure the team has sat down with him and I bet a stack of pancakes that Jerry has sat him down to discuss being less active on the social scene. Hard to tell athletes making big money, that they can’t go out and have a few adult beverages. Zeke is still just 21 and looking to have a good time. But look where it has him!
What we need to be aware of is that in the last few days it was looking as though the league had presented their findings to Zeke’s legal team, giving him a chance to refute the allegations, prior to their decision. The phrase we may have all heard was that Zeke was bracing for a short suspension. That was the scuttlebutt, which I didn’t want to address. Remember they’re not going after him or so it seems, on one specific thing, because little or no evidence is there. The only situation that has proof is at the St Patricks day party.
Zeke is a very charismatic young man and the league is looking to harness his activities. The team has tried to corral him. Zeke needs to stay away from these outings as innocent as he thinks they’re meant to be. Sadly for us as fans, the league appears ready to suspend him for the cumulative body of activity that we’ve noted here.
Whether this is part of this situation or not, I can share this with you. Old time sports writers through the years would share the off the field activities of past players with me on occasion. The stories, while intriguing they often mentioned that players would be played by sordid people and set up. These people were looking for a payoff or more in some cases. That’s why my preference is to let things play out with the investigations before getting worked up. Concerned yes. Saw one analyst insist that Goodell throw a hefty suspension on Zeke. A tad premature as the facts haven’t come out. A real rush to judgement by that individual on ESPN calling for what I took to be a six to ten game rip. That same analyst would like his day in court I’m sure before being hung out to dry by a studio analyst. Let the facts be gathered, prior to being found guilty and sentenced by this analyst. Regardless of the outcome, we can all agree that Zeke has to realize he’s making himself a target at the very least and by partying, trouble can find him, it doesn’t take much.
It’s now 12:25 PST here on Monday July 17th and still no further reports that I’m finding to further explain the situation. Unfortunately, in the NFL there is only one judge & jury and that’s Roger Goodell! His judgement is the only one that matters and we’re in a holding pattern for the outcome. This new situation likely puts the decision on hold pending further investigation for a few weeks. Be surprised if anything comes in the next week or two.