Initially, three topics became the focus of Zeke’s case: whether or not the alleged “conspiracy” against Elliott that the NFLPA had claimed was viable, whether or not the suspension would cause him “irreparable harm,” and if the NFL preventing the testimony of lead investigator Kia Roberts was justified after she claimed Elliott’s accuser was questionable.
Focusing on all three, she immediately dismissed the idea of any conspiracy against Elliott, and then proceeded to reason that because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, irreparable harm did not apply. Even though suspensions in the past did qualify as irreparable harm, the NFL’s discipline policy overrides that.
The issue of Kia Roberts’ credibility became the most curious of the three, as Judge Failla questioned the NFL on the means that her witness testimony could’ve added more to the case, even though she was initially dismissed during arbitration. This means that ultimately, the NFL’s word in the matter is stronger than that of the NFLPA’s. Overall, the discipline policy became the deciding factor.
The main concern following this ruling is that the arbitrator acting against the player in question gets to decide what evidence will be allowed in the hearings, making the subsequent decisions biased because that arbitrator is appointed by the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who himself was not asked to testify.
So as far as it stands, Ezekiel Elliott will be out of commission until December 17, so the Dallas Cowboys will have to resort to other options at the running back position. Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris, who serve as the Cowboys’ second and third strings, are likely to split the workload behind QB Dak Prescott.