Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will be eligible to play in the team’s Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants on Sunday night, despite a decision by NFL-appointed arbitrator, Harold Henderson, to uphold the league-issued six-game suspension.

The league announced Elliott’s six-game ban earlier in the month for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, stemming from an investigation that took place after an ex-girlfriend accused Elliott of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio.

The NFL issued a statement explaining Elliott’s being cleared to play this Sunday.


“In the absence of a ruling from Mr. Henderson at the outset of the hearing, the judge indicated his desire to have the appropriate time to consider all legal issues before making a ruling,” the NFL explained. “To that end, the judge asked counsel whether it was prepared to allow Mr. Elliott’s suspension, if upheld, to begin after week one, allowing him time to make that ruling. In deference to the judge, NFL counsel agreed that Mr. Elliott would be permitted to play this weekend regardless of the timing of the decision. When the decision was issued, the judge advised that in light of the league’s agreement, he would allow additional filings and make his decision by Friday.”

Elliott’s legal team intends to keep fighting the ruling and his attorneys are prepared to take the case to the federal level if necessary. According to ESPN, Judge Amos Mazzant said he will make a decision on Elliott’s temporary restraining order by 6pm ET Friday, which could impact Elliott’s eligibility for Dallas’ Week 2 matchup against the Denver Broncos.


“Mr. Elliott is looking forward to having his day in federal court where the playing field will be level and the NFL will have to answer for its unfair and unjust practices,” Elliott’s attorneys said in a statement.

If Zeke’s temporary restraining order is not granted, then he won’t return to the field until the Cowboys’ Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 5th. The Cowboys will kick off the regular season at home this Sunday night against the Giants.



Ezekiel Elliott Eligible To Play In Week 1 vs. Giants