NFL files appeal in Ezekiel Elliott case

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ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 26: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The NFL has filed an appeal in the ongoing NFL vs. Ezekiel Elliott battle.

On Monday, the NFL filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to combat a Texas court’s ruling which blocked the  NFL from enforcing a six-game suspension on Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys star running back, which was announced in August.

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On Friday, Judge Amos Mazzant III, in the Eastern District of Texas, issued an injunction blocking the NFL from suspending Elliott.

The appeal was officially filed on Monday.

Gaming and sports attorney Daniel Wallach says the NFL could also seek an “emergency stay” of the preliminary injunction. He also notes the Fifth Circuit’s reversal rate in 2016 was 7.2 percent. In 2015, it was 7.5 percent.

On August 11, the league suspended Elliott for six regular season games for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

In addition to accusations Elliott was involved in five incidents of domestic violence over six days in July 2016, he was also caught on camera pulling a woman’s top down during a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March. He has been accused of breaking a DJ’s nose at a Dallas nightclub, as well.

The NFL says Elliott’s suspension stems from his actions between July 17 and July 21, 2016 (domestic abuse allegations), and separately on March 11, 2017 (St. Patrick’s Day parade).

The NFL says even though no criminal charges were brought in either instance, league investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including the woman who made the abuse allegations, and examined all evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other electronic communications.

They also interviewed the woman who had her top pulled down by Elliott.

The league provided Elliott’s attorneys with copies of their investigative reports on June 7, 2017.

The NFL says based on the entire record provided by Elliott’s counsel and the league’s investigators, they came to the conclusion that Elliott “did use physical force against a woman resulting in her injury.”

In regards to the St. Patrick’s Day parade incident, the NFL says Elliott’s behavior was “inappropriate and disturbing.” They also say it reflected a “lack of respect for women.”

“When viewed together with the July incidents, it suggests a pattern of poor judgment and behavior for which effective intervention is necessary for your personal and professional welfare,” the NFL wrote in the suspension documents.

The MVP candidate finished his 2016-2017 inaugural NFL campaign with 1,631 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. He was also first-team All-Pro as a rookie.

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