El­liott hav­ing trou­ble stay­ing ‘out of the way’

Jones: ‘It’s not good. It’s just not good. It’s just not good’

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - CINDY BOREN

Dal­las Cowboys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott, whose be­hav­iour is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the NFL, re­port­edly has drawn un­wanted at­ten­tion be­cause of an in­ci­dent Sun­day night in a Dal­las bar.

Dal­las po­lice say that they were sum­moned to Clutch bar at around 9:40 p.m. be­cause a 30-year-old pa­tron said he had been phys­i­cally as­saulted by an un­named man.

The man was taken to a hospi­tal for in­juries. No ar­rests were made and El­liott was not named on the po­lice re­port. How­ever, me­dia out­lets cited sources nam­ing him in what Dal­las po­lice said in an email is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

El­liott, who will turn 22 on Satur­day, led the NFL in rush­ing as a rookie. But an al­le­ga­tion of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, for which no charges were filed, has hung over the off­sea­son and could re­sult in his sus­pen­sion.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter re­ported on Fri­day that “there’s a grow­ing sense” that El­liott could face “some sort of short sus­pen­sion here in the com­ing weeks at some point, once the NFL wraps up its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

El­liott’s judg­ment has been called into ques­tion at times dur­ing the off-sea­son, draw­ing un­needed at­ten­tion while an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is pro­ceed­ing. Dur­ing a St. Pa­trick’s Day pa­rade, he pulled down a woman’s top, a move that was cap­tured on video.

“There is not much that I want to say other than that was un­for­tu­nate and not good,” owner Jerry Jones said of the in­ci­dent in late March. “It wouldn’t be the right em­pha­sis one way or the other to get into any com­mu­ni­ca­tions or di­a­logue since that hap­pened.”

In Fe­bru­ary, El­liott, who played col­lege ball at Ohio State, was with a friend who was ar­rested for try­ing to carry a firearm into a bar in Colum­bus, Ohio. El­liott, in a tweet that was later deleted, said, “I was never ‘de­tained’ by the po­lice. Nor was I ever ques­tioned or in any type of trou­ble.”

Last sum­mer, El­liott vis­ited a recre­ational mar­i­juana shop in Seat­tle, where pos­ses­sion of small amounts is le­gal, just hours be­fore a pre-sea­son Cowboys game. He made no pur­chase at Her­ban Leg­end, but his pres­ence in the shop con­cerned Jones, given that the NFL con­sid­ers the sub­stance banned un­der terms of the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment with the NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Well, I think that, in and of it­self, the rea­son we are talk­ing about it is in a way part of the learn­ing process,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “But it’s not good. It’s just not good. It’s just not good.”

In 2016, Ohio pros­e­cu­tors opted not to pur­sue the al­le­ga­tion of do­mes­tic abuse. Ear­lier this sum­mer, the NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion turned over phone records and other doc­u­ments that league in­ves­ti­ga­tors were seek­ing, ac­cord­ing to USA To­day, and it ap­peared that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was near­ing an end.

A woman, who said she was an ex-girl­friend, al­leged that El­liott abused her over sev­eral days last July in Ohio. Ac­cord­ing to USA To­day, the same woman called po­lice on El­liott in Fe­bru­ary 2016 in Florida.

Cit­ing what it said was con­flict­ing and in­con­sis­tent in­for­ma­tion on all al­leged in­ci­dents, the Colum­bus City At­tor­ney’s Of­fice de­clined to file charges.

MAX FAULKNER, TNS

Dal­las Cowboys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott is un­der in­creas­ing scru­tiny by the NFL for his off-field an­tics.

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