Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension has been upheld by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Elliott was suspended six games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in August, more than a year after Elliott’s ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Authorities in Ohio declined to press charges against Elliott but an NFL investigation found “credible evidence” Elliott used physical force on the woman, Tiffany Thompson, and inflicted several injuries.
Elliott's lawyers released a statement condemning the decision shortly after the ruling was handed down.
There is still a chance that Elliott will play in the Cowboys' Week 1 matchup vs. the Giants on Sunday night. Just a few hours before the suspension was reportedly upheld, CowboysHQ.com's Mike Fisher reported that Elliott would play against New York regardless of the result of the appeal.
That's possible because Elliott can still get a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Texas federal court. A judge's decision on whether to issue that restraining order is expected to come on Friday, and if it is granted, Elliott could play until the case is settled. The MMQB's Albert Breer reports that the TRO hearing went well for Elliott.
The appeal process has been exceptionally contentious. The NFL’s own investigation raised concerns about the credibility of both Elliott and Thompson and investigator Kia Roberts recommended to the league that Elliott not be suspended after she spoke with Thompson. Roberts’s recommendation was not included in the NFL’s final report. The players union contends that there is “a League-orchestrated conspiracy... to hide critical information, which would completely exonerate Elliott.”