Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott releases statement reacting to NFL suspension

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

Dallas Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott is “surprised and disappointed” that he was issued a six-game suspension by the NFL Friday for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL alleged Elliott used “physical force” in July 2016 during altercations with his ex-girlfriend resulting in her sustaining injuries.

Prosecutors in Ohio, where the incidents were said to have occurred, decided a year ago not to pursue the case.

Elliott released the following statement Friday night, responding to his punishment:

The NFL’s reigning rushing yards leader has three days to decide whether or not he wants to officially appeal the suspension.

Earlier in the day Elliott’s representatives, attorneys Frank Salzano and Scott Rosenblum, voiced their displeasure in the ruling.

“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,” a joint statement read. “During the upcoming weeks and through the appeal, a slew of additional credible and controverting evidence will come to light.”

The NFL revised its personal conduct policy three years ago after it was criticized for its handling of a case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. The policy changes allowed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases regardless whether or not the player was convicted of a crime.

With files from The Associated Press