Ezekiel Elliott mess isn’t going away anytime soon

Only in Roger Goodell’s NFL could Ezekiel Elliott be suspended for six games last month yet be allowed to play Week 1 even after arbiter Harold Henderson upheld that suspension.

Henderson somehow failed to make the 4 p.m. deadline and so Jerry Jones’ gain is the Giants’ loss.

Big Blue are Big Screwed.

And so very well may be the rest of the teams on the Cowboys’ schedule.

Whether the issue is domestic violence, as it is with Elliott, or deflating footballs, as it was with Tom Brady, the drama and the animosity between the warring sides is inevitably played out in the courtroom.

No one should be surprised if Elliott follows Brady’s legal blueprint and gets his suspension delayed until after the 2017 season.

The NFL, which bungled the Josh Brown investigation, will have egg on its face again if the NFLPA’s accusation that there was a conspiracy designed to rob Elliott of “fundamental fairness” comes out in the wash. The NFL’s response: hogwash. They said-they said one more time.

It all casts a dark cloud over the start of the NFL season as Goodell once again is nose-to-nose with one of the league’s marquee players.

With Brady, it was about the integrity of the game.

With Elliott, it is about straining to impose a zero-tolerance policy on domestic violence after ghastly failures in the discipline policy itself.

The ball is now in the court of U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant, who will rule Friday on the NFLPA’s temporary restraining order. If he rules against Elliott, the star Cowboys running back will begin his suspension Week 2 against the Broncos.

Elliott plays in the meantime with a cloud of suspicion over his head as he attempts to elude the grasp of a league that will look to protect its shield with a relentlessness unknown to mankind.

Elliott won the first battle, and may very well win the next one. But he should understand that he won’t win the war.

Elliott should understand Goodell and his minions will follow him to the end of the earth, will chase after him with the ferocity of a young Lawrence Taylor on a lightning-rod issue it has struggled over and over again to get right.

You only can hope Jones, who has done so much good for the league that his bust is now in Canton, is thoroughly convinced that Elliott did not lay hands on his girlfriend in July 2016, because the alternative view would paint him as a Winning-Isn’t-Everything-It-Is-The-Only-Thing owner.

I keep coming back to the same premise I asked myself during Brady’s Deflategate fiasco:

Does anyone really think the NFL truly wants to remove one of its marquee stars just for the hell of it? A phenom running back on Jerry Jones’ America’s Team who threatened Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record last season?

Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And no matter how this plays out, there’s plenty of fire around Ezekiel Elliott, and the NFL maintains it is a five-alarmer.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/09/06/ezekiel-elliott-mess-isnt-going-away-anytime-soon/

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