The Dallas Cowboys have started the first half of the season looking like a team that is going to the playoffs and beyond. Part of the reason is due to rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot having a historic performance. However, the NFL is investigating him on a possible violation regarding the league’s domestic abuse policy. If it is proven that Ezekiel is guilty of doing this, he would most likely face a long suspension.
Although no charges were filed by the authorities in Columbus, Ohio following a complaint that stated an incident occurred there where the running back was involved in five acts of domestic abuse, the NFL continues to investigate the matter. During the league meetings that were recently in Houston, several sources reported that owner Jerry Jones of the Cowboys discussed the issue of the investigation with prior prosecutor for New York Lisa Friel as she is in charge of the NFL’s investigations into domestic abuse and special counsel for them. The informants said that the discussion between the two happened within earshot of other team and league executives; she did not reply to him during the conversation. There was no quick response from the organization to reply for a comment about Friel and Jones’ discussion.
Earlier in the week, the USA Today first reported the inquiry by the NFL to interview Ezekiel about the incident. The league refused to give a statement for this report as it is there policy not to talk about probable violations regarding the personal conduct policy while under investigation. The prosecutor’s office would not file charges on the five complaints against Elliot after they determined “conflicting and inconsistent information across all incidents resulting in concern regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to support the filing of criminal charges.”
Yet, the league clarified their domestic violence policy by saying suspensions can still occur regardless of charges being filed with sources stating that information is still be collected by the NFL. The first allegation of abuse receives a six-game suspension according to the league’s baseline policy; however, kicker Josh Brown for the Giants had recently faced a one-game suspension because of “mitigating circumstances.” The kicker is again being investigated by the league due to new proof that shows possible events of abuse.
The NFL regarding domestic violence has no timeline on their investigations as well as commonly deals with issues on its inquiries obtaining timely statements and evidence from witnesses and law enforcement when applicable. Executives and owners from other teams privately took issue with how the leagues and the Giants dealt with Brown’s situation. They felt it presented the look of preferred treatment for the powerful owners and the franchise while the NFL strongly denied this sentiment. The league is again under the microscope on how it will resolve the allegations of domestic abuse due to the bad fallout from the Brown incident.