Ezekiel Elliott suspension restored by federal appeals court

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On Thursday afternoon, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled in favor of the National Football League in their case against Dallas Cowboys All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The judges voted 2-1 to grant the NFL's emergency request and ordered the U.S. Eastern District Court in Sherman to dismiss Elliott's case.

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Although Elliott is not yet suspended again - technically speaking - such a decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals certainly clears the way for the Cowboys rusher to be forced back to the sideline. The league filed paperwork asking U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant to make a decision by September 14; otherwise, the league would take the case to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The NFL appeal was part of an attempt by the NFL to enforce Elliott's suspension this season and confirm NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to issue punishment based on "conduct detrimental" to the league as mandated in Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement. Elliott can not show it was futile to wait for a final decision simply because he believed the arbitrator would issue an unfavorable ruling.

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Because the Cowboys do not play this week, the union has more time to file motions before Elliott's suspension might affect his chances of playing in a game. Mazzant ruled that Elliott did not receive a fair appeal hearing before Henderson, in large part because Elliott's accuser and Goodell did not testify.

The ruling clears the way for the National Football League to enforce the six-game domestic violence suspension they handed Elliott this offseason.

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Elliott, 22, was never charged and has denied wrongdoing.

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