Ezekiel Elliott remains eligible to play for the Dallas Cowboys, thanks to a ruling from U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty on Tuesday night. The judge granted Elliott a temporary restraining order, allowing him to continue playing until a preliminary injunction hearing or Oct. 30, whichever comes first.
Elliott's request for a preliminary injunction will be heard by a different judge, Katherine Polk Failla, who is assigned to his case but out of town this week.
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"Elliott has established that, without a temporary restraining order, [he] would experience irreparable harm because he stands to miss more than one-third of the NFL's regular season," Crotty wrote. "Improper suspension can undoubtedly result in irreparable harm."
Crotty also pointed out that the NFL's disciplinary process may have been unfair to Elliott by denying him the chance to cross-examine the woman whose domestic violence allegations led to his suspension. It will be up to Failla, however, to determine whether Elliott will win a legal victory over the league based on those claims.
In August, the NFL suspended Elliott for six games because of allegations of domestic violence made by his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Thompson. Elliott appealed the suspension, pointing to inconsistencies in Thompson's claims and the fact that he wasn't charged by police. NFL arbiter Harold Henderson rejected Elliott's appeal without requiring Thompson or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to testify at the hearing, leading Elliott to file a federal lawsuit against the league arguing that the disciplinary process to which he'd been subjected was unfair.
Elliott initially won a preliminary injunction in a Texas court that likely would've allowed him to play throughout the 2017 season as the case made its way through the courts, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out that decision because Elliott filed his suit before Henderson made his final ruling on the appeal. This week, the case moved to the NFL's preferred venue, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, in which the league filed a suit to confirm the suspension after Henderson's decision.