After a 33-19 win on Sunday, Cowboys Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott left the team Monday to attend a court hearing in Manhattan.
It’s where Elliott, the Cowboys and their next opponent, the Chiefs, will learn whether or not Dallas will have its star in the backfield for the next six games.
Elliott’s legal team and the NFL Players Association plans to ask a federal judge for a preliminary injunction that would likely keep the running back eligible for the rest of this season, as the case makes its rounds in the court system.
If the motion is denied, Elliott is likely to serve a full six game suspension immediately, which was originally handed out in August.
In August, the NFL itself determined Elliott was guilty of domestic violence in a series of incidents last year involving a former girlfriend. Ohio authorities never charged Elliott with a crime, which is a primary focal point for a case dealing with whether or not the NFL has the right to enforce its own law, based on its own private findings.
Since the original six-game suspension was announced, Elliott and the NFL have gone round and round with an initial injunction granted on September 8, then vacated on October 12, a mandate recall on October 13 and temporary restraining order granted on October 17, all leading up to what may be the final major hearing of the year on October 30.
In total, six federal judges have been involved in the case. Elliott has yet to miss a game this season, or any game over his two-year career.
Even if a preliminary injunction is granted, there’s still a chance Elliott will be suspended, just not for this year.
Elliott’s impact on the field is undeniable and will be a major loss for Dallas if he cannot suit up against Kansas City. The Cowboys have averaged 196 yards rushing in the last four games, with Elliott topping 100 yards in three straight.
The Chiefs defense has struggled this season, especially when stopping the run against top backs like Pittsburgh’s Le'Veon Bell. For as good as Bell was in 2016, Elliott was nearly 400 yards better.
The hearing is set for Monday afternoon, but the verdict and potential suspension may not come out publicly till later in the week.
Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.