FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday the team is still gathering details over Ezekiel Elliott’s involvement in an altercation at a Dallas bar, the latest off-field incident for the star running back.
Elliott, who was already facing a potential suspension over the NFL’s investigation of a year-old domestic case, was involved in a dispute Sunday night that led to a man getting punched in the nose and being taken to a hospital. Dallas police said the 30-year-old man didn’t know who punched him, and the report does not mention Elliott. Dallas police also are investigating the incident.
Jones said he didn’t want to speculate about a possible suspension. An NFL spokesman said the league is looking into the latest incident “to understand the facts.” One of Elliott’s representatives didn’t return a message seeking comment.
Authorities in Columbus, Ohio, declined to prosecute the former Ohio State star over a domestic dispute with his ex-girlfriend before Elliott’s first training camp with the Cowboys last year. But the NFL’s investigation continued , and the league hasn’t cleared Elliott.
Elliott also drew unwanted attention last season when he visited a legal marijuana shop before a preseason game in Seattle. Last spring, he pulled down a woman’s shirt during a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The 21-year-old Elliott, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie and helped the Cowboys to the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a 13-3 record, can get suspended without any convictions, although the now-mandatory six-game ban without pay for a domestic incident is unlikely without legal involvement.
“Because of his style, personality, (he’s) like a rock star wherever he goes in terms of attention,” Jones said. “Certainly Zeke is evolving and being subject to needing to learn how to deal with the media and social media the way it is today.”
Jones said he had discussed Elliott’s latest incident with the running back but declined to provide details. Elliott said during the offseason program that he was going out less while understanding more the scrutiny he faces. But now he’s had another incident.
“Like all of us, we do good some days and don’t do good the others,” Jones said. “That’s not to be confused with tolerating bad behavior or illegal behavior. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about just learning that your every move will be scrutinized and how in this day and time it will be looked at from many vantage points.”
Elliott was a star before the Cowboys drafted him fourth overall last year, having led Ohio State the first championship in the four-team playoff. He ran for an Ohio State bowl-record 246 yards and four touchdowns in the title game on his future home field in the NFL.
With 1,631 yards rushing last season, Elliott powered the Dallas offense alongside fellow rookie sensation Dak Prescott, who took now-retired Tony Romo’s job with the best debut season for a quarterback in franchise history.
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