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Ezekiel Elliott: Dallas Cowboys running back suspended for six games

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There it is.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is being suspended for the first six games of the 2017 NFL season, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter. The NFL has determined Elliott has violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL began their investigation into Elliott last year following accusations of domestic violence. It took a long time but they’ve finally made a ruling. Elliott is reportedly expected to appeal his suspension.

If the suspension stands, this is bad news for the Dallas Cowboys. He’s clearly the team’s best player. Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns as a rookie in 2016. His rushing presence made life easier on Dak Prescott, who attempted the third fewest passes of any starting quarterback last season. The Cowboys’ ground game also prevented their defense from getting exposed.

Elliott is still scheduled to be available when the Eagles play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11 and Week 17 this season. But the fact Zeke could miss six games could hurt the Cowboys’ standings in the NFC East. Analytics indicate Dallas was always poised to take a step back this year regardless of the Elliott suspension.

Elliott is just one of several Cowboys players facing discipline from the NFL this offseason. The rest of the list is too long to name off the top of my head.

The Elliott suspension saga is far from over given the fact he’ll be appealing the ruling. It’s a situation to continue to monitor moving forward.

For reference, here’s a look at the Cowboys’ first six games in 2017.

Week 1 - vs. New York Giants

Week 2 - at Denver Broncos

Week 3 - at Arizona Cardinals

Week 4 - vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 5 - vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 6 - BYE

Week 7 - at San Francisco 49ers