Ezekiel Elliott appeal judges appear to lean toward pro-Elliott ruling
Based on the line of questioning in today’s hearing in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, it appears a three-judge panel is leaning towards Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in his latest legal clash with the NFL.
Elliott was suspended six games by the NFL after a year-long investigation concluded that he had physically abused then-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson in July 2016. The NFLPA and Elliott claim that investigation ignored potentially exculpatory evidence and, after losing a direct appeal to the NFL, took the suspension to court.
Since then they’ve been awarded a pair of temporary restraining orders but have also lost a pair of battles to the NFL in court. However, most recently they had received an administrative stay while they await the next available three-judge panel.
That panel became available on Thursday and Daniel Wallach of Inside Sport Law says that the questions directed towards the NFL made the panel appear decidedly pro-Elliott. If they were to rule in his favor, that would prevent the NFL from enforcing his suspension in 2017 while awaiting a full hearing.
However, there’s currently no timetable for a decision, which bodes well for Elliott to at least be able to play this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.
With the federal government shut down on Friday for the celebration of Veterans Day on Saturday, the administrative stay would allow Elliott to play this weekend unless a ruling comes down later on Thursday. So things look good for Elliott and the Cowboys at the moment, on multiple fronts.
Update (2:42 p.m. CT): It appears the optimism was for show because the worst-case scenario on both fronts have played out for Elliott and the Cowboys. The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled quickly and in favor of the NFL, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 9, 2017