Cowboys' RB Elliott's hearing concludes in Sherman; will play vs. Giants

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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- The NFL conceded Tuesday in Sherman federal court that because of the timing of the decision, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott would be eligible to play week 1 against the Giants.

By the end of the hearing, it was announced by Elliott's and the NFL Players Association defense team that Harold Henderson had rendered his decision and upheld the NFL's six game suspension of the All-Pro running back.

Elliott's suspension could start next Tuesday, barring a temporary restraining order being issued against the league on 5 p.m. Friday.

Federal District Judge Amos Mazzant conducted the two and a half hour hearing trying to answer the question of were the arbitration proceedings fundamentally unfair.

Elliott was present for the hearing, but showed little emotion. There were several spectators in the courtroom who clearly supported Elliott in his fight for the NFL.

Mazzant will have to decide if the court has the jurisdiction to hear the case, and if it does, then whether the NFL participated in a conspiracy to not allow Commissioner Roger Goodell or Tiffany Thompson to testify in the hearing, rendering the process fundamentally unfair.

Mazzant will have to decide if 1) There is a substantial chance of success on the merits for the NFLPA and Elliott; 2) there is a substantial threat of immediate and irreparable harm for which there is no remedy of law; 3) sustantial threat of greater injury from not granting the temporary restraining order than granting the TRO; 4) the TRO will not disserve the public interest.

Jeffrey Kessler, counsel for Elliott, argued that all they wanted was "to maintain the status quo." Kessler went on to explain that Elliott was is playing during the investigative process, and that to suspend him would harm Elliott's reputation, and harm him as a player.

Kessler also argued that the Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys season ticket holders, and even fans of the team would suffer harm if Elliott were not allowed to play.

NFL attorney Daniel Nash argued that if the court would grant a temporary restraining order, that would harm the NFL by allowing "courts to manipulate decisions made by the league."

Because of Henderson's decision on Tuesday, both sides will file updated briefs to Mazzant by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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