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The NFL’s six-game ban of Cow­boys run­ning back

Ezekiel El­liott stem­ming from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence al­le­ga­tions was re­in­stated by a fed­eral ap­peals court Thurs­day. The rul­ing cleared the way for the league to en­force El­liott’s sus­pen­sion im­me­di­ately, bar­ring fur­ther le­gal in­ter­ven­tion.

FRISCO, Texas — A fed­eral ap­peals court cleared the way Thurs­day for the NFL to im­pose a six-game sus­pen­sion on Cow­boys run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott over do­mes­tic vi­o­lence al­le­ga­tions, sid­ing with the league in the lat­est high-pro­file fight over its abil­ity to pun­ish play­ers for off-field be­hav­ior.

In a 2-1 de­ci­sion, the 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals panel in New Or­leans granted the league’s emer­gency re­quest to set aside an in­junc­tion and or­dered a dis­trict court in Texas to dis­miss El­liott’s case.

Fur­ther ap­peals were pos­si­ble. One of El­liott’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

A fed­eral judge in Texas is­sued the in­junc­tion block­ing the sus­pen­sion last month, agree­ing with the play­ers’ union at­tor­neys who ar­gued that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the al­le­ga­tions in Ohio and a sub­se­quent ap­peal were un­fair to El­liott.

The NFL coun­tered that it fol­lowed pro­ce­dures un­der the league’s la­bor deal and that the union im­prop­erly filed suit be­fore the ap­peals process was com­plete.

The most likely des­ti­na­tion for fur­ther le­gal chal­lenges from play­ers’ union at­tor­neys is with the South­ern Dis­trict of New York. The NFL filed in that fed­eral court af­ter El­liott’s NFL ap­peal was de­nied by ar­bi­tra­tor Harold Hen­der­son last month.

If El­liott’s le­gal team can’t put the sus­pen­sion on hold again, it can be­gin Oct. 22 at San Fran­cisco and El­liott won’t be el­i­gi­ble to play un­til Nov. 30 at home against Wash­ing­ton, a Thurs­day night game the week af­ter Thanks­giv­ing. El­liott played the first five games.

Last year’s NFL rush­ing leader as a rookie, El­liott was sus­pended in Au­gust by com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell af­ter the league con­cluded fol­low­ing a year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion that he had sev­eral phys­i­cal con­fronta­tions in the sum­mer of 2016 with Tif­fany Thomp­son, his girl­friend at the time.

Pros­e­cu­tors in Colum­bus, Ohio, de­cided not to pur­sue the case in the city where El­liott starred for Ohio State, cit­ing con­flict­ing ev­i­dence.

GIANTS DB SUS­PEN­SION STAYS: Do­minique Rodger­sCro­mar­tie met with Giants coach Ben McA­doo, who told the corner­back his sus­pen­sion was in­def­i­nite.

Nei­ther Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie nor McA­doo was im­me­di­ately avail­able for com­ment.

Play­ers can be sus­pended a max­i­mum of four weeks un­der the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment.

Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie was sus­pended Wed­nes­day for leav­ing the team fa­cil­ity be­fore prac­tice. He had been told by McA­doo that he would be in­ac­tive for Sun­day’s game in Den­ver be­cause he left the bench in the sec­ond half of Sun­day’s loss to the Charg­ers and went to the locker room. The 31-year-old told ESPN he left the build­ing be­cause he was up­set. He also said he ar­gued with McA­doo on Sun­day dur­ing the game. COW­BOYS DT RETIRES: De­fen­sive tackle Stephen Paea has re­tired seven months af­ter join­ing the Cow­boys. The 29-yearold had spent the past sev­eral months bat­tling a knee in­jury. De­spite the in­jury, he started the team’s first four games, but he didn’t play dur­ing Sun­day’s loss to the Pack­ers.

PACK­ERS: Run­ning back Ty Mont­gomery has a chance to play Sun­day at Min­nesota. Mont­gomery was listed as full par­tic­i­pant for a sec­ond straight day while wear­ing a flak jacket to pro­tect bro­ken ribs sus­tained against the Bears on Sept. 28. The prac­tice was the lone padded work­out of the week and a key in de­ter­min­ing his avail­abil­ity. “I played with one in high school,” he said. “A flak jacket is very nor­mal. It’s not in the way or any­thing.”

As­so­ci­ated Press

Ezekiel El­liott has started the Cow­boys’ first five games but only has 393 rush­ing yards.

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