NFL suspends Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott 6 games

FILE - Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is pictured Sept. 18, 2016. (Keith Allison / CC BY-SA 2.0)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott will be suspended for six games by the National Football League.

The NFL said it talked to more than a dozen witnesses while investigating the domestic violence allegations made against Elliott by Tiffany Thompson in 2016. The league said it also talked to medical experts and looked at pictures, text messages and other electronic communications before coming to the decision to suspend Elliott.

In a letter sent to Elliott by the NFL's special counsel for conduct, the league told Elliott it believes there is "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott "engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016." The letter also told Elliott another violation of this policy could result in his suspension or potential banishment from the NFL.

In the league's updated personal conduct policy, physical violence is subject to six-game suspensions.

Elliott released a response late Friday night saying he was "surprised and disappointed" by suspension.

The Cowboys running back has three business days to appeal, which is expected. A hearing on his suspension has to be scheduled within 10 days of the appeal being filed. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hears appeals of player suspensions. The NFL's conduct policy allows it to suspend players even if they were not charged criminally.

The case was investigated by Columbus Police and the Franklin County prosecutor and no charges were filed against the former Buckeye star.

In March, Elliott was seen in a video exposing a woman's breasts at a St. Patrick's Day party in Dallas. He was also involved in another incident in July at a Dallas bar that initially sparked an assault investigation.

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