Entertainment & Sports Law

5th Circuit vacates injunction blocking suspension of Cowboys' Elliott

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott/Keith Allison (Wikimedia Commons).

An appeals court on Thursday vacated an injunction blocking Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension imposed by the NFL over domestic violence allegations be vacated and remanded the case to district court for dismissal.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Labor Management Relations Act to issue the preliminary injunction in the case.

NFL.com, CBSsports.com and the Dallas Morning News all have stories.

Elliott had been suspended as a result of allegations he had physically abused a former girlfriend in Ohio. On Sept. 8, Texas District Court Judge Amos Mazzant called the NFL’s arbitration process for Elliott “fundamentally unfair,” USA Today reported at the time.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told a Dallas radio station that the 5th Circuit’s decision was a “setback,” and would not tip his hand as to what the team would do next.

“It’s not the thing to do right now to get into how we will respond, but we support Zeke,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan on Friday. “I’m very familiar with all of the facts and details of this case. Very familiar. More than anything I’ve ever done regarding law. Zeke did not get treated fairly here.”

Last season, Elliott set a team record for rookies with a league-leading 1,631 yards. He also registered 15 rushing touchdowns and 16 total TDs. The former Ohio State standout has 393 rushing yards and three total TDs this season.

Dallas, which is 2-3 and on its bye week, will not play again until Oct. 22 at San Francisco. If Elliott serves the suspension, he wouldn’t return until Nov. 30.

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