FRISCO, Texas – Speaking Friday morning on 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said the team will continue to support running back Ezekiel Elliott after a Fifth Circuit appellate panel ruled Thursday to vacate the injunction blocking Elliott's six-game suspension.
The NFL announced in a statement that Elliott's suspension will begin immediately, and he's eligible to return to the team Friday, Nov. 24, the day after the annual Thanksgiving game against the L.A. Chargers.
"I think we must all together work and see pragmatically what we're dealing with," Jones said when asked about the court ruling. "And there is no question that the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) has the authority to make these suspensions. The question was ultimately going to be, does he have to follow and practice a fair way. And so, Zeke and his team and the Cowboys do not think that it was done in a fair way. And we are trying to get that looked at. And we got a setback yesterday."
(Update: According to NFL.com and reports late Friday, the NFL Players Association plans to petition for a rehearing of Elliott's suspension case with the Fifth Circuit en banc, meaning full court rather than an appellate panel.)
The Cowboys have their bye this week. Their next game is Oct. 22 at San Francisco.
If Elliott remains suspended by then, the Cowboys will turn to backup running backs Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden (both former 1,000-yard rushers) and Rod Smith to handle carries.
"We've got really good alternatives," Jones said. "Is it better to have Zeke? Yes, but we've got an alternative."