Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is ending his protracted legal battle against the NFL and will serve the remaining five games of his suspension, he announced Wednesday.
“This decision arises from a practical assessment of the current legal landscape,” Elliott’s agents said in a statement. “Mr. Elliott’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 wrong doing, and Mr. Elliott is pleased that the legal fight mounted by he and his team resulted in disclosing many hidden truths regarding this matter as well [as] publicly exposing the NFL’s mismanagement of its disciplinary process.”
The NFLPA also released a statement explaining the decision to accept the suspension and why they chose to fight it in the first place.
"On behalf of all players, the Union appealed the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott to its logical conclusion and we are withdrawing our lawsuit," the statement said. "Our vigilant fight on behalf of Ezekiel once again exposed the NFL’s disciplinary process as a sham and a lie. They hired several former federal prosecutors, brought in 'experts' and imposed a process with the stated goal of 'getting it right,' yet the management council refuses to step in and stop repeated manipulation of an already awful League-imposed system."
Elliott’s on-again-off-again suspension was reinstated last week through a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, barring him from playing Sunday against the Falcons. After feeding Elliott 23.9 carries per game in the first eight games of the season, Dallas running backs Alfred Morris and Rod Smith combined for only 14 carries in a 27–7 loss.
Elliott won’t be eligible to play again until the Cowboys’ Week 16 game against the Seahawks and season finale on the road against the Eagles. Dallas is currently 5–4, on the outside of the playoff picture. The Panthers (7–3) and Seahawks (6–3) hold the Wild Card spots at the moment.