The Dallas Cowboys‘ players are scheduled to report to NFL training camp is a week away. Barring an unexpected holdout, every Cowboys’ player is expected to be in attendance. That includes the Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott. But Elliott may join his Cowboys’ teammates with a myriad of questions surrounding his future availability.
July 24, is when the Dallas Cowboys convene for the continued development of a 2017 Super Bowl contender. According to USA Today, the Cowboys are scheduled to have their first team practice in Oxnard, California. There is a possibility that they will do so with the uncertainty of what will happen to Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott’s status as their starting tailback remains cloudy as the NFL continues to investigate an incident which took place during a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Ezekiel Elliott pulled up the top of a young woman who was watching the parade. It is an action which could lead to the NFL suspending the promising Cowboys’ star. The NFL has levied suspensions to a handful of players in the past couple of weeks.
Among the most notable of recent NFL suspensions are wide receivers Michael Floyd and Mike Thomas. Floyd and Thomas play for the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams respectively.
ESPN is reporting that Michael Floyd will serve a four-game ban at the beginning of the season. Floyd’s suspension is largely due to the DUI he was arrested for, while playing with the Arizona Cardinals.
After getting released by the Cardinals, Michael Floyd joined the New England Patriots. He was inactive for the Patriots’ Super Bowl win. Now that Floyd is with the Vikings, he has a coach in Mike Zimmer, who has taken a zero-tolerance approach with his talented receiver.
According to the Twin-Cities Pioneer Press, the Vikings’ coach has promised to cut Floyd if he has returned to drinking alcohol. Floyd’s case represents a sudden shift in philosophy as far as suspensions are involved.
NFL teams are beginning to take similar hard line stances with their talented, but troublesome players. This is something to watch for as the Dallas Cowboys await word of the NFL intentions with Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys could begin to follow the path that other teams have taken. Which is to not fully reward questionable behavior.
When NFL training camp begins for the Dallas Cowboys, it will be business as usual. An official word about Ezekiel Elliott could come any day now. The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the decision on a possible suspension of one or two games could be levied soon on the Cowboys’ running back.
If Ezekiel Elliott is suspended, it will force the Cowboys to consider adding another running back for depth purposes. Also, not having Elliott for a game or two could prove to be the difference in winning or losing the division.
As the Dallas Cowboys get ready for training camp, the hope is that Ezekiel Elliott’s transgressions are behind him. The worst case scenario is one the Cowboys do not want to have — a player developing a pattern of bad behavior.
The Dallas Cowboys have had their share of players fighting suspensions and legal issues over the past few seasons. Defensive ends David Irving and Randy Gregory will have to miss some or all of the games the Cowboys play this upcoming season. Ezekiel Elliott would make the ninth Cowboys’ player in three seasons to receive a ban of some sort.
The Dallas Cowboys have had a history of bringing in players with questionable pasts. However, with a backlash taking place, the Cowboys’ philosophy may change.
The Dallas Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott in for training camp, but they do not know if they will have him for the start of the season. If the NFL does suspend Elliott, it may force the Cowboys to take a particular stance with him. Not to the extent of how the league has dealt with the aforementioned Michael Floyd, but with a couple of more transgressions, that could change.
[Featured Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]