National Football League suspends Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott 6 games

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Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott released a statement late Friday night regarding his recent six-game suspension for violation of the NFL's personal-conduct policy.

The suspension results from an incident more than a year ago in which an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused him of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio.

It was announced in September that the Columbus City Attorney's office wouldn't pursue charges against Elliott due to "conflicting and inconsistent information".

Elliott has three days to appeal the decision. Depending on a player's circumstances, suspensions can be made longer or shorter at the whim of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has the final say on all league disciplinary factors. Any ruling would be considered binding.

The 22-year-old led the league in rushing as a rookie last season, picking up 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns on 322 carries. His first season in the National Football League, however, wasn't without controversy as an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused the former standout of domestic violence last summer.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently defended Elliott and said he expected no penalties from the NFL. With Elliott sidelined, Dallas will likely turn to Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith at running back.

The NFL Players Association adds they have been in contact with Elliott.

According to a report from ESPN's Todd Archer, the suspension will mean Elliott will have to repay a portion of his signing bonus that could add up to over $US1.4 million. It marked one of 11 games in which the 49ers allowed a 100-yard rusher en route to allowing the most yards rushing for a season in franchise history, 2,654.

In March, he faced major backlash after a video surfaced, showing how he exposed a woman's breasts during the Dallas, Texas, St. Patrick's Day parade, without her consent.