Jerry Jones’ crusade for Ezekiel Elliott continued Friday as the Cowboys owner doubled down on his belief that the star running back will not face a suspension.
“No, no, I’m not,” Jones said in a Hall of Fame press conference. “I don’t want to basically be to, let’s say, pro-active about how I feel because that’s not going to make any difference here at all. What I don’t want to do is hurt things about how I feel. So that’s that. But I think that when you look at everything that I’m aware of, then I’m not anticipating a suspension.”
It repeated what Jones said during NBC’s broadcast of the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night.
So is Jones — who some would argue is the NFL’s most powerful figure — trying to pressure the league?
The NFL has never closed its investigation into domestic abuse allegations made against Elliott by an ex-girlfriend more than a year ago. Jones has maintained all along that evidence shows Elliott was innocent of an incident that led to no arrest or charges against Elliott.
But Jones has offered that the league is considering other behavior besides the domestic violence allegation. During the offseason, Elliott exposed a woman’s breast during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and was involved in an altercation at a Dallas bar.
Jones, however, remains steadfast that Elliott has done nothing that warrants a suspension.
“I think that anytime that you have scrutiny, then nobody’s robots,” Jones said. “They can basically consider the entire situation, and so I wouldn’t dare speculate just how the presentation to the commissioner will be couched or what will be emphasized. All I’ve made my comments based on is all the knowledge I have. I have everything. I do not anticipate a suspension.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a four-person independent panel participated in a hearing with Elliott last month. The four-person panel will make a recommendation to Goodell, who eventually will decide whether to suspend Elliott. Jones expects a decision “imminently.”