Zeke Elliot’s agents announced in a statement Wednesday that the Cowboys running back has withdrawn his appeal against the NFL and will serve the full six-game suspension, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Full Statement Below:
“In consultation with the NFLPA and his lawyers, and after careful deliberation and review of the recent second circuit decisions, Mr. Elliot has decided to forego any further appeals and will serve the remaining suspension. This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape. Mr Elliot’s desire for closure in this matter is in his best interest, as well as the best interests of his teammates, family and friends. This decision is in no way an admission of any wrongdoing, and Mr. Elliot is pleased that the legal fight mounted by he and his team resulted in disclosing many hidden truths regarding this matter as well publicly exposing the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process. Mr. Elliott will maximize this time away from the game and come back even stronger both on and off the field. He intends to release a final personal statement in the upcoming weeks and until then we have no further comment.”
Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys walking out of a federal appeals court in Manhattan
This brings an end to what has been a long drawn out legal battle between Elliot and the NFL. Zeke was initially awarded an injunction by the court, which is what allowed him to play the first half of the season while his lawsuit against the NFL continued – and after his injunction was overturned in early October, he was awarded a temporary stay by a New York federal court. The 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately denied his final request for an injunction last week – which put Elliott in a position without many options left.
Elliott’s case – very similar to the Deflate Gate scandal in which New England quarter back Tom Brady initially had his suspension lifted, only to have it reinstated when the courts were unwilling to rule against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s power to enforce punishment – in which the argument was made that the NFL can discipline their players just as any other employer has the right to discipline their employees.
Elliot will be eligible to return to his team in Week 16 when they face off against the Seattle Seahawks. Dallas is currently second place in the NFC East with a 5-4 record – they have a chance at a wildcard playoff spot but losing their star running back will make that a much more difficult task for second-year quarter back Dak Prescott and the Cowboys.