Ezekiel Elliott runs over Giants after stiff-arming Goodell

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And in issuing an injunction blocking Elliott's six-game suspension, the U.S. District Court of Eastern Texas did not proclaim his innocence.

Ezekiel Elliott made his presence felt, but the Dallas Cowboys' defense made a greater impact as it shut down the New York Giants in the season opener on Sunday night. In the fourth quarter, perhaps prompted by less-than-glowing social-media reviews of Collinsworth's earlier comment, Al Michaels finally gave a quick, three-sentence synopsis of Elliott's case between plays.

Elliott won Round 1 last week when Mazzant granted the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, citing that Elliott did not receive a fair appeals hearing before league-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson.

This gets a little scary for all the parties involved here - if the league were to win in court and get the expedited ruling on a hearing and a potential punishment, it is possible that the NFL could enforce Elliott's six-game suspension at a point in time that would be less than ideal for everyone involved (outside of the NFL).

That he would even be allowed to play in the opener was in doubt for months as the National Football League investigated an accusation of domestic violence made by Elliott's former girlfriend.

The case could play out for months.

Brady served his four-game suspension to start the 2016 season. But based on the timeline of previous court battles between the National Football League and NFLPA, there's a darn good chance Elliott will suit up throughout the 2017 season. "This is just the beginning of the unveiling of the NFL's mishandling as it relates to Mr. Elliott's suspension".

In the meantime, we will be left to read the report of the league's investigation, to read the union's allegations about the process, to read the court's rulings and then decide for ourselves. The running back denied the allegations under oath during the appeal.

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Judge Amos Mazzant said that the appeal process was not fair to Elliott.

Also, in deciding not to charge him with a crime, prosecutors in OH did not exonerate him.

After all manner of appeals, lawsuits, injunctions and other machinations surrounding him, Elliott took his familiar place in the Cowboys' backfield for the opening series of their season opener against the Giants at AT&T Stadium.

The judge also faulted the league for what he saw as several efforts to hide the opinion of co-lead investigator Kia Roberts.

Some may argue there's no excuse for Elliott and the O-line not getting a chance to punch it in given how much success they had in those situations a year ago.

-The NFL disregarded the findings of its own investigator that the alleged victim's "accusations were incredible, inconsistent, and without corroborating evidence to sufficiently support any discipline against Elliott".

On Sunday night, Elliott rushed for 104 yards during the Dallas victory. The legal battle is simply over the disciplinary process.

Dak Prescott was turnover-free while throwing for 268 yards as the Cowboys dominated the NFC East rival that swept them during a 13-3 season that topped the NFC and was fueled by the sensational rookie years for the quarterback-running back duo.

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