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No appeal granted for Ezekiel Elliott, but Cowboys star might still play Week 1

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No appeal granted for Ezekiel Elliott, but Cowboys star might still play Week 1

The NFL moved to uphold the six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott. That said, it's still possible Elliott plays Week 1 against the New York Giants on Sunday. 

Harold Henderson handled Elliott's appeal for the NFL, and after some time ruled that Elliott would get no reduction from the six-game suspension. The league suspended the second-year running back after a series of alleged domestic violence incidents, though multiple reports say the evidence was compromised throughout the process.

Since the suspension came after Tuesday at 4 p.m., the deadline for such moves, the suspension can not take place until Week 2. Elliott has filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the suspension until it winds its way through the courts. A Texas judge is scheduled to rule on that by Friday. If the TRO is granted, Elliott could well play the entire season while the process plays out. Should the TRO be denied, Elliott's suspension would run for Weeks 2-7. That would make the final game of the suspension October 29 against the Redskins. 

Here's what his attorneys had to say in reaction to Henderson's decision:

This situation will likely play out in the courts now, similar to Tom Brady's four-game suspension from a few seasons ago. One major difference between the Brady and Elliott situations is that the running back is dealing with domestic violence allegations. 

Last season as a rookie, Elliott took the NFL by storm, leading the league in rushing and playing a major part in the Cowboys 13-3 regular season. He rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 15 TDs, and against the Redskins had 190 rushing yards and three TDs in two games. 


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How a simple miscommunication led to the Redskins' crushing intentional grounding mistake

How a simple miscommunication led to the Redskins' crushing intentional grounding mistake

Kirk Cousins and his coaching staff picked a really, really bad time to mix up their signals on Sunday vs. the Saints.

With less than a minute left and the Redskins on the edge of field goal range, Cousins dropped back to pass and lofted the ball to the right sideline. The problem was that the area wasn't occupied by any Redskins receivers.

So, after a brief conference, the refs decided to flag Washington's QB for intentional grounding, a penalty that effectively doomed their chances of kicking a game-winning field goal. New Orleans would, of course, go on to finish off the 'Skins in overtime.

Afterward, Cousins took to the podium inside of the Superdome to try and explain what went wrong on that sequence.


"We had a run play called, and based on the defensive look they were giving, it was gonna be a tough run to get, and we were probably gonna get stuffed and have to clock it and hope for the best for the field goal," he said (his comments can be seen in the video above).

"I looked over to the sideline out of the corner of my eye and saw the coaches saying, 'Throw it,' and they wanted, potentially, an audible, get to an actual pass play," he continued. "I thought they were saying if you just throw it by Jamison [Crowder], in the general area of Jamison, there's an eligible [receiver] in the area and there's no penalty."

So, according to Cousins, the miscommunication wasn't between him and Crowder, which is what most assumed during the game. Crowder was simply going to block, which was his assignment for the run play that the offense originally went to the line with.

The issue actually occured between the passer and the sidelines, with Cousins not catching onto his coaches' desire for him to audible into a pass. And that late slip-up will unfortunately be what most remember from a day where No. 8 was mostly on-point.

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There was literally a 0.4% chance of a Redskins loss vs. the Saints — and then the Redskins lost


There was literally a 0.4% chance of a Redskins loss vs. the Saints — and then the Redskins lost

Despite losing their best player to a terrible knee injury, and despite playing on the road vs. a team on a seven-game winning streak, and despite making crucial mistakes including a major blunder at the end of the first half, at one point, the Redskins had more than a 99 percent chance of beating the Saints Sunday.

And, well, you know what happened.

After a holding penalty on the Saints' fourth quarter drive that followed a Kirk Cousins to Jeremy Sprinkle touchdown pass, Washington's odds of winning the matchup were set at 99.6 percent.

In case simply reading that number isn't painful enough, here's a graph that'll make it painful-er:


Following the flag, all the Saints would do is go on to score on that drive, score on their next drive, convert on the two-point conversion, hold the Redskins twice and then kick the game-winning field goal in overtime, a sequence of events that, according to ESPN, had a less than 1/100 chance of happening.

Since we're talking about numbers, here's another one for you: As of this post, the Redskins have 99 hours until they have to turn around and play the Giants on football. So that's nice.