FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) - Ezekiel Elliott wants to "fight'' to clear his name as an accused abuser. As the Dallas Cowboys star continues his legal battle with the NFL, somebody involved in the fight is pushing the idea of a compromise between the two sides.
But who is doing the pushing? And why?
Sources tell The Fan's Mike Fisher that there are higher-ups in the Elliott camp who "know nothing'' about reports of a settlement between the player (represented by the NFLPA) and the league (which continues to push for the enforcement of a six-game suspension). This doesn't necessarily discount the idea, first noted by the Dallas Morning News. But if the people in charge of Elliott's defense are caught off-guard by the report ... Who are the people who do have knowledge of it?
Maybe the people who run the NFL. And maybe the people who run the Cowboys.
Jerry and Stephen Jones have all this week represented Cowboys ownership in meetings with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding a variety of issues. While the courts and the lawyers work through their web of "temporary restraining orders'' and "preliminary injunctions,'' parties outside the courtroom could easily be the ones who trigger talk of shrinking the six-game suspension down (to, say, two) along with official paperwork from the NFL that erases its domestic-violence accusation (a charge never proven) to a "pattern-of-behavior'' judgment.
Elliott might not favor that; he said this week, "When you get accused of something of that magnitude, you kind of get labeled as an abuser, and that's not just me. That's not how I want to be seen, not how I want to represent my family. It's just important for me to fight."
And some of his people know nothing about it, so they can't "favor'' it, either. But compared to the possibility of a year-long fight (that's already meant four months of angst for all involved parties) still likely to result in some court verifying the six-game punishment, Cowboys ownership might view it as a relative victory.
As Elliott prepares to play for Dallas at San Francisco this Sunday while being unsure of his future beyond that, there is also the possibility that the reason his camp is unaware of serious conversation here is because there's been no serious conversation at all. One NFL source does not discount the possibility of someone "floating a trial balloon'' to gauge public opinion on a compromise or even to fuel true conversation by pretending the conversations are already taking place.
And who would do such a thing? Who would have the power to create such a story? Who would reap the benefits of creating such a story?
It's not difficult to answer "the Joneses'' to that question, either.
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