FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has largely stayed silent regarding the NFL’s decision to suspend Ezekiel Elliott six games, but he reiterated his support for the running back on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately you get confused in this conversation,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “Every person that has any sense at all understands domestic violence and abhors it. On the other hand, I’ve had a lot of experience in this area. For 10 years before I bought the Cowboys I was the head of [a] battered women [organization] of Arkansas. I raised more money and been in more safe houses than a lot of people that talk about it, and so it’s a terrible problem.
“On the other hand with what we are today and what we’re trying to be relative to addressing it in the league, [it] has all kinds of issues — and it should. It’s a very complicated issue because you have no evidence here. That’s all I want to say about it. But it creates quite a convoluted approach by Zeke’s representatives and by the league that I really hate is a focus of all of our attention. I do. Even though others would say that the issue needs this kind of focus and you’re using the NFL for visibility.”
Elliott, who was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy for an alleged domestic violence incident in July 2016, is in New York for his appeal hearing. It began Tuesday and, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, will last through Thursday.
NFL Players Association attorneys Heather McPhee and Jeff Kessler are part of his group, which includes Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum. The Cowboys also had counsel present at the hearing.
Arbitrator Harold Henderson does not have a time frame in which to make a decision once the hearing concludes. Final briefs on the case are due Friday.
“He has as qualified a people representing him as I’ve ever seen,” Jones said. “They really have got the first team in there and so these are the kinds of things strategy-wise that you play as you see it.”
Jones did not say whether the Cowboys would get involved in the courts should the hearing not go in Elliott’s favor.
“I know that Zeke’s counsel and his direction has been thought through thoroughly, and so I know that to be the case,” Jones said. “As you know I am and should be taking the stance of not really commenting on this at this time from the standpoint of a personal role with the Cowboys.”