Dallas Cowboys

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.

NFL suspends Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott 6 games

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NFL suspends Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott 6 games

The NFL's ruling is in and Cowboys fans won't like it: Running back Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The suspension stems from an incident that took place more than a year ago. Elliott's ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence, and though the legal charges haven't been pursued, the NFL can still conduct its own investigation and discipline the player.

Elliott will likely appeal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The hearing would be scheduled some time in the next two weeks.

Dallas has four tough games in its first six: vs. the Giants on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, at Denver and at Arizona the next two weeks, and a home game with Green Bay in Week 5.

The Eagles face the Cowboys in Weeks 11 and 17.

Below is the NFL's statement:

Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.

Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.

The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league's investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott's behalf.

In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL's Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors "were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016."

After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.

Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott's suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team's active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys' Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Ezekiel Elliott suspension could have big impact on NFC East

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Ezekiel Elliott suspension could have big impact on NFC East

The cloud of a potential suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence issues has been hanging over the Dallas Cowboys for weeks. New reports point to a suspension for Elliott being "definite" and that it could be handed out as early as today in a hopeful "Friday news dump" by the NFL.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio summarized the situation rather thoroughly on Thursday night and had a league source telling him the suspension would be definite.

Earlier this week, Cris Carter said on FS1 that a suspension is coming, and that the suspension will be accompanied by evidence of domestic violence, and possibly by proof that Elliott destroyed evidence in connection with the investigation. Carter suggested that the punishment will be in the range of the four-game suspension imposed on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2015.

Elliott is accused of five incidents of domestic violence over a six-day period in July 2016. Last Thursday night, appearing in the NBC booth during the Hall of Fame game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggested that a suspension could be imposed for unspecified incidents other than the domestic violence claim.

The length of the suspension is currently unknown but the most common guess is four games.

This would obviously have a big impact on the Cowboys in their quest to repeat as NFC East champs as they have a tough schedule to open the season including the Packers, Giants, Cardinals, and Broncos among their first five contests.

But what if Elliott is suspsended and chooses to appeal? If he plays during the appeal process, depending on how long the process takes, it could drag out and eventually keep Elliott out of four-plus games later in the season if the appeal fails. The Eagles first see the Cowboys in Dallas in week 11. So Elliott being sidelined then is not out of the question.

Elliott being sidelined would be a welcomed sight for any opponent, especially a division rival.

UPDATE: Elliot has been suspended for six games and will appeal.