Jerry Jones Says He Wouldn't Be Surprised If Ezekiel Elliott Plays vs. Raiders

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2017

Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott stands on the sideline in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters he would not be surprised if Ezekiel Elliott makes his preseason debut next week against the Oakland Raiders.

"Wouldn't surprise me at all if he would get a few snaps," Jones said Saturday after the Cowboys' 24-19 win over the Indianapolis Colts. "We don't want to put 30 [carries] on him out there. No reason to do that."

Elliott, 22, is currently appealing a six-game suspension under the NFL's personal conduct policy. He is eligible to play in preseason games regardless of the result of that appeal but is yet to suit up in any of Dallas' first three contests.

Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Alfred Morris split the lion's share of the carries Saturday night. McFadden led the way with 59 yards on nine carries, while Smith (seven carries, 53 yards) and Morris (nine carries, 49 yards) also performed well. A majority of Dallas' first-team offense aside from Elliott played the first two series.

Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2016 on his way to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. His preseason pitch count likely would have been low without the suspension and appeals process looming, as Elliott finished his rookie campaign with 377 touches (regular season and postseason combined). Risking injury and further wear and tear on his body wouldn't be a prudent idea even at his young age.

Elliott is scheduled to meet with NFL officials Aug. 29 for his appeal. 

"The NFL's findings are replete with factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions and it 'cherry picks' so called evidence to support its conclusion while ignoring other critical evidence," Elliott's attorneys, Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum, said in a statement.

Elliott said he was "surprised and disappointed" by the NFL's decision in an Aug. 11 statement. He has denied all allegations of domestic abuse and was never charged with a crime in the case the NFL used as the basis for his suspension.