NFL Files Motion to Dismiss Ezekiel Elliott Case from US District Court

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 26: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys wraps his hands on the field during warmups in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders at AT&T Stadium on August 26, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The NFL reportedly filed a motion Monday to dismiss an NFLPA petition that seeks to void Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension.

A.J. Perez of USA Today reported the news, noting the motion was filed to dismiss the case in the U.S. District Court. Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News also reported the league filed the documents as a response to the running back's injunction request.

Perez called it "a very expected development" and shared the motion:

A.J. Perez @byajperez

A very expected development. Story to follow. https://t.co/crFS8Q5qef

Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated noted the NFL cited its legal victory over Tom Brady seven times in the filing:

Michael McCann @McCannSportsLaw

In NFL's 16-page court filing to oppose Ezekiel Elliott, the league cites its legal victory over Tom Brady 7 times. Cases have consequences. https://t.co/B2sK4nXskh

This comes after Adam Schefter of ESPN previously reported the "NFLPA filed a temporary restraining order in Texas, calling for the courts to block any suspension upheld by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson."

Perez pointed out there was also a petition to oppose the restraining order:

A.J. Perez @byajperez

Also the petition to oppose the temporary restraining order the NFLPA requested: https://t.co/AnSF8A8jdc

Perez summarized the filings from the league after the NFLPA filed the petition to void the suspension in addition to the temporary restraining order, stating the NFL's argument was "Elliott does not have the legal standing to challenge in federal court a six-game suspension over domestic assault allegations."

As Perez explained, this is nothing new for the NFL: "The NFL was expected to challenge the NFLPA's claims much as it did when other players—including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—have gone to court over the years to challenge the NFL's personal conduct policy."

Gabe Feldman of the Tulane Sports Law Program added more details:

Gabe Feldman @SportsLawGuy

Core argument of NFL in Brady, Rice, Bounty, Elliott, etc., battles w/ PA is that courts should not interfere with NFL's internal decisions

Gabe Feldman @SportsLawGuy

NFL: "Having a ct decide when Elliott will be able to play is a blatant interference w/ the collectively bargained grievance process"

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport previously pointed out there was a timing element to the entire process as well in terms of Elliott's chance to play in Sunday's opener against the New York Giants:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

A ruling on Ezekiel Elliott’s appeal must be given by 4pmET Tuesday. If not, the RB will be eligible to play on Sunday. LATEST 📺: @RapSheet https://t.co/IeXDaUhPS3

This process traces back to Aug. 11, when Schefter reported Elliott was suspended for six games for alleged domestic violence in 2016. The suspension came because he violated the league's personal conduct policy, although he appealed the ban and issued a statement on Twitter expressing his disagreement.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Sept. 1 that Elliott had filed a 30-page petition in Texas federal court stating he was victimized by a "league-orchestrated conspiracy...to hide critical information."

The petition said NFL director of investigations Kia Roberts determined Elliott's accuser "was not credible in her allegations of abuse," but the opinion was "concealed from critical aspects of the disciplinary process," per Florio.