Ezekiel Elliott accepts suspension, will serve immediately

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott /

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will serve his six-game suspension now after withdrawing his appeal.

The Dallas Cowboys will be without 2016’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott. The star running back will serve his six-game suspension immediately.

Ian Rapoport, NFL Insider for NFL Network, tweeted a statement from Elliott’s agents on Wednesday.

Elliott was in the midst of a lengthy court battle with the NFL that seemingly put his status up in the air every week. Even two weeks ago, he was ruled out up until the Friday before the Cowboys’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The fight against the NFL over Elliott’s domestic violence accusations was set to continue with his next court date on Dec. 1. Elliott and his representatives decided to forgo that fight due to the likelihood that it will not be resolved before his suspension was set to expire.

The Cowboys were without Elliott for their blowout loss in Week 10 to the Atlanta Falcons. Other than that, Elliott has played in every game but one of his Cowboys career (Week 17 against the Eagles as rest). The team was 13-3 in his rookie year and were off to a 5-3 start this season.

Dallas will now turn to veteran backs Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden to pick up the slack. The young Rod Smith should see some work in the backfield as well.

The Cowboys’ once dominant offensive line has taken a massive step back from its 2016 performance. Once a strength of the team, it looked like a liability a week ago against Atlanta. It will fall onto them to lead a rushing attack.

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Most of the pressure, though, will now turn to the quarterback and 2016 Rookie of the Year, Dak Prescott. The talented signal caller will be without Elliott for the first time in his professional career. It will be on him to continue his impressive sophomore campaign until Elliott returns.

The Cowboys’ next five opponents will not make that easy. They play the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. Elliott is set to return on Dec. 24 against the Seattle Seahawks in Dallas.