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NFL investigator reportedly recommended no suspension for Ezekiel Elliott

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Kia Roberts, lead investigator for the NFL, made the recommendation. But it never made it into the NFL’s final report.

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

New details are emerging in the Ezekiel Elliott case that could see the Dallas running back’s suspension reduced or overturned.

According to a report by the Star-Telegram, Kia Roberts, director of investigations for the NFL, recommended that no suspension be given to Elliott. Roberts’ conclusion was based on interviews with Elliott’s accuser. This was, perhaps, the reason why Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones had such faith that there would be no suspension for Elliott:

Roberts’ recommendation of no discipline is the main reason Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expressed so much confidence in the case until the NFL announced the suspension on Aug. 11.

Jones was told by a top NFL executive that there would be no suspension, according to a source.

-Clarence E. Hill Jr., the Star-Telegram

The no suspension recommendation never made it into the league’s final report and, as Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram reports, Roberts wasn’t included in the meeting to discuss disciplinary action:

When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell conducted a meeting to discuss discipline for Elliott, it included Lisa Friel, the senior vice president for investigations; Jeff Pash, executive vice president and general counsel, and Adolpho Birch, senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, among others.

But Roberts was not at the meeting as Friel recommended a six-game suspension to Goodell.

During the appeal hearing there was testimony that Friel barred Roberts from the meeting, a source said.

-Clarence E. Hill Jr., the Star-Telegram

There’s no set timeline on how long it will take arbitrator Harold Henderson to reach a decision on Elliott’s appeal. But reports say there is pressure for him to come to a conclusion by Monday, since the Cowboy’s season opener is a week away.

On Thursday night, Elliott filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Texas to vacate any suspension handed down by the NFL. Meanwhile, the NFLPA filed a request for a restraining order to block a suspension.

For more info on Zeke Elliott’s suspension and appeal, read the full report in the Star-Telegram and also check out SB Nation’s timeline of all the events leading up to this moment.