FRISCO, Texas – With Ezekiel Elliott's playing status currently unresolved for Sunday's season opener and beyond, head coach Jason Garrett's plan for his All-Pro running back and the rest of the team this week is simple: control what they can control.
"We're just going to prepare for the Giants, and Zeke will practice until someone tells him not to," Garrett said Monday. "And the other guys will get ready to play."
Garrett said Elliott rejoined the team for meetings and a walkthrough last Saturday after he attended last week's appeal hearing regarding his six-game suspension for violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
As of late Monday, arbitrator Harold Henderson has not announced a ruling on Elliott's appeal. Last Friday, reports surfaced that the NFL Players Association, on behalf of Elliott, filed a request for a temporary restraining order asking the courts to block any potential suspension. A hearing on the request reportedly will take place in court Tuesday.
(Update: According to NFL.com, the NFL has filed a motion to dismiss the NFLPA's petition and its request for a temporary restraining order.)
Those dominoes have yet to fall. As things stand now, the Cowboys return to practice this week in preparation for the Giants – and with his suspension still under appeal, Elliott is scheduled to be on the field unless told otherwise.
"We can control what we can control," Garrett said. "We control our preparation with players and coaches, and that's everybody. You just go to work."
All along, the Cowboys have expressed confidence in their running back depth if Elliott is not on the field. The team kept three extra backs on the roster (Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris, Rod Smith) in addition to fullback Keith Smith. All should take their normal reps in practice, Garrett said.
"They've gotten a lot of work all throughout the preseason and training camp, and the rotation that we typically have with all of our players is you try to get them work with that first unit," Garrett said. "The backup guys rotate through. So I anticipate probably a similar rotation."