SPORTS FBN-COWBOYS-ELLIOT-APPEAL FT

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) gestures to a fan in the stands during a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. 

The latest news on Ezekiel Elliot isn’t good for Cowboys fans or fantasy owners. The next time the star RB will be able to play again is December 24 against the Seattle Seahawks. It was announced Wednesday that he would withdraw his appeal from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which means he’ll be out for the next five games. He decided to accept it after all this time because it was in the best interests of his “friends and family” sources say.

Elliot was originally suspended six games in August after the NFL investigated and found evidence he committed domestic violence against Tiffany Thomas on multiple occasions in July of 2016. However, he was not charged with a crime for the alleged incidents. Since then, the court has been going back and forth with his appeal, he was even able to play on November 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a “temporary administrative stay”

The next major consideration is how will this affect the Cowboys in the upcoming weeks? The first game without him didn’t go well for the Cowboys as the Atlanta Falcons crushed them 27-7. They will have to get through five more games without Elliot, who has 783 yards and 7 TD’s this

season alone. Aside from missing Elliot’s presence, their left tackle, Tyron Smith has been out with a groin injury. This led to Dak Prescott being sacked over eight times, six of them coming from DE Adrian Clayborn who set a franchise record.

The Cowboys will have to rely on Alfred Morris, Rod Smith, and Darren McFadden, to get the job done and do what Zeke has essentially done all by himself this season. On Sunday, Morris and McFadden both had terrible starts, with Morris having 53 yards and McFadden -2 yards, respectively. The only way I can describe this is pathetic. Two running back’s stats combined still isn’t close to what Zeke was putting up. It’ll take some time for them to get more familiar with running the routes and being more consistent. It will also take QB Dak Prescott time to adjust, who had 176 yards and 20 completions, which is up from previous games.

While Elliot is on suspension, he cannot have contact with the Cowboys front office or coaches. Owner Jerry Jones wasn’t concerned about the loss against the Falcons or what Elliot will do during his suspension. “I think he's got a good plan and I know he's going to be doing stuff," Jones said last Sunday. "He's going to get away, and he's doing some things that will help his career and his life and so, no, I'm not as concerned about that."

In the meantime, Elliot will be doing his training outside of the U.S. during his suspension. He will not be able to return to practice until Dec. 18.

The Cowboys (5-4) next game is against the Eagles (8-1) who are first in the NFC East.

ERIK BENSON is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at esbenso@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter @erik_b001.

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