The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the suspension.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to appeal 6-game suspension, per sources. Has three business days to file appeal.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
The suspension results from an incident more than a year ago in which an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused him of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. Elliott is a former Ohio State running back. The city attorney in Columbus announced last September it wouldn't pursue charges, but the NFL can still penalize a player without charges being filed.
Schefter reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is "furious" about the suspension.
Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones is said to be furious with NFL decision, per one source. Furious.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 11, 2017
A six-game suspension is the NFL standard for domestic violence cases, though it has been inconsistently applied. Elliott has three business days to appeal and the league then has 10 days to schedule an appeal hearing. Elliott would be able to play while he appeals.
The league said Friday there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott had physical confrontations last summer with his ex-girlfriend.
Here's the full statement from the league on the suspension, via Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:
Here's the full NFL statement regarding the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott https://t.co/KvLU3DZZkF— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 11, 2017
The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.
According to ESPN, the NFL investigated text messages and retained medical and legal experts to help Goodell reach his decision. The league also investigated domestic violence allegations from February and July 2016, as well as a St. Patrick's Day incident in which Elliott pulled down a woman's shirt, but it didn't factor in the NFL's decision in this case. That incident was cited in the letter notifying Elliott of the suspension.
Last month, Elliott was allegedly involved in a scuffle at a Dallas bar where a man's nose was injured, but Dallas Police suspended that investigation when witnesses wouldn't come forward.
Elliott, the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,631 yards. He had 15 rushing touchdowns and one passing TD.
Associated Press report included in this story.