The700Level

Ezekiel Elliott suspension could have big impact on NFC East

usa-ezekiel-elliott.jpg
USA Today Images

Ezekiel Elliott suspension could have big impact on NFC East

The cloud of a potential suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence issues has been hanging over the Dallas Cowboys for weeks. New reports point to a suspension for Elliott being "definite" and that it could be handed out as early as today in a hopeful "Friday news dump" by the NFL.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio summarized the situation rather thoroughly on Thursday night and had a league source telling him the suspension would be definite.

Earlier this week, Cris Carter said on FS1 that a suspension is coming, and that the suspension will be accompanied by evidence of domestic violence, and possibly by proof that Elliott destroyed evidence in connection with the investigation. Carter suggested that the punishment will be in the range of the four-game suspension imposed on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2015.

Elliott is accused of five incidents of domestic violence over a six-day period in July 2016. Last Thursday night, appearing in the NBC booth during the Hall of Fame game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggested that a suspension could be imposed for unspecified incidents other than the domestic violence claim.

The length of the suspension is currently unknown but the most common guess is four games.

This would obviously have a big impact on the Cowboys in their quest to repeat as NFC East champs as they have a tough schedule to open the season including the Packers, Giants, Cardinals, and Broncos among their first five contests.

But what if Elliott is suspsended and chooses to appeal? If he plays during the appeal process, depending on how long the process takes, it could drag out and eventually keep Elliott out of four-plus games later in the season if the appeal fails. The Eagles first see the Cowboys in Dallas in week 11. So Elliott being sidelined then is not out of the question.

Elliott being sidelined would be a welcomed sight for any opponent, especially a division rival.

UPDATE: Elliot has been suspended for six games and will appeal.

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

NFL Referees Association: Pete Morelli criticisms are clickbait

The NFL Referees Association responded to criticisms of Pete Morelli and his officiating crew, and in doing so, suggested Eagles fans and impartial members of the media have no idea what they are talking about.

Morelli has come under fire over the seemingly lopsided officiating during the Eagles' 28-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 6. The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards in the contest, while the Panthers drew only one flag for one yard, despite the appearance of committing many of the same infractions.

Since that game, a change.org petition moving to ban Morelli from working Eagles games in the future is approaching its goal of 75,000 signatures. Research also shows Morelli's crew has been calling penalties against the Eagles in disproportionate numbers for awhile now. In the last four games with Morelli, the Eagles were flagged 40 times for 396 yards, compared to just eight penalties for 74 yards against opponents.

Almost everybody seemed to be in agreement that the officiating was at the very least poor in the Eagles-Panthers game, if not biased. Everybody, that is, except NFLRA executive director Scott Green, who released a statement on Thursday.

Via ProFootballTalk:

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create clickbait headlines lack important context. Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

Lack of knowledge. Completely misguided. Irresponsible and baseless. You would expect the NFLRA to come to the defense of Morelli -- it's literally their job -- but insulting the consumers' intelligence along the way probably isn't the best way to go about it.

Is there anything sinister about Morelli's and his crew's officiating? Maybe not, but it doesn't take somebody who's gone through the NFL's (presumably) rigorous Officiating Development Program to watch two nearly identical plays called differently for two different teams within three hours of each other. Innocent mistakes or not, that's what appeared to happen on multiple occasions throughout the Eagles-Panthers game.

Instead of releasing overly defensive statements, perhaps the NFLRA should show video evidence why the calls against the Eagles were correct, and the eerily similar non-calls that went in the Panthers' favor were not. Because this responding to criticism with more criticism isn't changing any minds.

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

jake2.jpg
Jake Elliott Instagram

A surprising Eagle keeps getting drug tested

Jake Elliott has been a revelation for the Philadelphia Eagles after Caleb Sturgis went down with an injury early in the season.

But has he been too good ...

The rook has made 12 of his 14 attempts for the Birds this season.

If you're looking for a good laugh today, go check out this reddit thread that starts with a photo from Elliott's Instagram story in which he points out he got flagged for his third drug test in two weeks!

The comment section is as good as a Jake Elliott 61 yarder.

"Well, he does bleed green...," abenyishay says..

"Is kickers doping really a thing?" ChaosFinalForm wonders, as do we.

What do you think? Just the way the random drug draw fell the last few weeks, or does the NFL think Jake Elliott is into something?