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Jerry Jones: Ezekiel Elliott court ruling a 'setback'

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called Thursday's court decision that reinstated Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension a "setback" and said the team will continue to support their running back as he considers his legal options.

Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Friday, Jones reiterated the Cowboys' stance that the process leading to Elliott's suspension was conducted in an unfair fashion.

"There's no question that the commissioner has the authority to make these suspensions," Jones said. "The question was ultimately going to be ... Does he have to follow the practice [in] a fair way? And, so, Zeke, his team and the Cowboys do not think it was done in a fair way. And we're trying to get that looked at and we got a setback yesterday."

Jones wouldn't go into specifics regarding how the team will support Elliott in his quest to have his suspension overturned.

"It's not the thing to do right now to get into how we will respond, but we support Zeke," Jones said. "I'm very familiar with all of the facts and details of this case. Very familiar. More than anything I've ever done regarding law. Zeke did not get treated fairly here."

On Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the NFL that a lower court did not have subject matter jurisdiction in a lawsuit filed by the NFL Players Association seeking to have Elliott's suspension dissolved.

Although Elliott's suspension has been officially reinstated, there's a chance he could be back on the playing field in time for the Cowboys' next game against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 22. Elliott and the NFLPA are expected to either file an amended lawsuit in district court or ask for a rehearing or an en banc panel hearing with the 5th Circuit, according to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program.

"We are currently exploring all of our legal options and will make a decision as to what is the best course of action in the next few days,'' Elliott's attorney Frank Salzano said in a statement Thursday.

Jones said the team is prepared to move on with life without Elliott if he remains suspended.

"We've got really good alternatives. Is it better to have Zeke? Yes. But we've got an alternative," Jones said. "... By keeping Morris and McFadden, we've got two outstanding, veteran backs. That's the way that I look at it. That's the way we'll have to go with it. It is obvious that football itself says that that if you don't make plans for the unexpected or if you don't make plans for the reversal, then you don't understand that game because you're going to get it as surely as you say the word, as sure as you put your foot on the field, things are not going to go like you want them to every time. And so we're ready if in fact Zeke can't play."

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