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Jerry Jones hopes Ezekiel Elliott will be playing Week 1

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is optimistic that star running back Ezekiel Elliott will not be suspended by the league and that he will be in Dallas' starting lineup for their season-opening matchup against the Giants.

"My hope is that Zeke is with us opening night and I don't want to get into anything that might in any way influence negatively that decision from the league office," Jones told NBC's broadcast crew during halftime of Thursday's Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

The NFL has conducted a year-long investigation into multiple incidents involving Elliott, including a domestic violence accusation made against him by a woman identifying herself as his former girlfriend to authorities.

Elliott, 22, has denied the domestic violence accusations.

Jones said Thursday that "there are a couple of issues that might or might not (be looked at), that's going to be under the league to decide, fall in under the behavioral guidelines. In my opinion, we're preparing our team for Zeke and should."

Jones sympathized with Elliott's rapid rise to stardom.

"I know firsthand what it's like for Zeke to go out in public. It's like a rock star. It's almost uncontrollable. That's a challenge," Jones said. "That'd be a challenge for anyone. He's got to learn to basically meet that challenge. It's been my experience when players have that type of attention create that type of dynamic. They learn. They'll hit that hot stove two or three times."

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday that a decision from NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell on any possible suspension was not expected this week as he waits for the work of a panel of independent advisors examining the Elliott case.

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