This probably isn't a big surprise as McFadden wasn't a factor in the team's first week without Zeke Elliott last week against Atlanta. Morris will get the early down work with Smith being a change of pace and passing down option.
Big news: #Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is withdrawing his appeal, his agents Rocky Arceneaux and Frank Salzano tell me. Elliott will serve his full 6-game suspension.
McFadden is active for this week but it's expected that Morris gets the start and a bulk of the work with Smith getting third-down action. The RBs workload will be worth monitoring this week. Meanwhile Bryant is a go after injuring his ankle last week.
Friday, November 10, 2017, 5:53pm
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (not injury related) was removed from the injury report Friday. Elliott’s stay was cancelled, so he is now (once again) suspended for the next six games. That would put his return in Week 16. He does have an expedited appeal set for Friday, Dec. 1 and at that point, he’ll be halfway through his suspension. It’s unlikely that he’ll be back that week (Week 13), so he is very likely to miss a minimum of four games even if he wins the appeal. Alfred Morris is first in line for carries with Rod Smith (who is a fullback) and Darren McFadden forming a committee with Morris. McFadden is the best receiver of the bunch, so he’s likely to take over Elliott’s role in the passing game with Morris serving as the primary ballcarrier.
Thursday, November 9, 2017, 6:46pm
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott (not injury related) was added to the injury report Thursday after missing practice. Elliott’s stay was cancelled, so he is now (once again) suspended for the next six games. That would put his return in Week 16. He does have an expedited appeal set for Friday, Dec. 1 and at that point, he’ll be halfway through his suspension. It’s unlikely that he’ll be back that week (Week 13), so he is very likely to miss a minimum of four games even if he wins the appeal. Alfred Morris is first in line for carries with Rod Smith (who is a fullback) and Darren McFadden forming a committee with Morris. McFadden is the best receiver of the bunch, so he’s likely to take over Elliott’s role in the passing game with Morris serving as the primary ballcarrier.
Wallach, a gaming and sports attorney, said Elliott's emergency motion has been denied, which means his six-game suspension is back on.
Michael McCann added: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is back on--for now. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sides with NFL & denies Elliott an injunction pending appeal. But Elliott's appeal will be heard on an expedited basis, so he might have another ruling before the six-game suspension games ends.
Amy Dash of CBS Sports also tweeted that an appellate court will hear the case "on an expedited basis." As of now, Elliott would begin his suspension this week and would be ineligible to play in Dallas' Week 10 contest versus the Atlanta Falcons. If he serves all six weeks of the suspension, he's eligible to return in Week 16.
UPDATE: We now have a date for the expedited appeal: December 1.
With Elliott set to serve his six-game suspension this week, the Cowboys will turn to Alfred Morris to replace him. With Darren McFadden and Rod Smith also in the mix, we most likely won't have a clear idea of how the RB snaps will play out until the Cowboys take the field. For Week 9, we currently have Morris ranked as our highest Cowboys RB in standard leagues, while McFadden ranks ahead of him PPR leagues.
Related players: Ezekiel Elliott
The more you look at this tweet, the more it doesn't say a whole lot in the end. With Elliott now suspended, it looks like Morris will be the lead back, though, with McFadden and Smith mixing in as well. There is really no indication how the workload will be split. With McFadden inactive most weeks this season, Morris certainly seems like the back to own at this point.
Amy Dash: The NFLPA has failed to demonstrate a substantial question warranting the extraordinary remedy of injunctive relief.
Jason La Canfora: If NFLPA can't win an appeal in next 24 hours, Zeke is gone for 6 games.
Adam Schefter: To summarize: Ezekiel Elliott is facing suspension in 24 hours, but this is not over yet. Is it ever?
The bottom line is that Elliott is suspended, for now. The NFLPA can appeal (again) but as it stands, he will miss the next six games, which would put his return in Week 15. The Cowboys will likely use a committee to replace Elliott. Morris is second on the team with 13 carries, while McFadden has been inactive all season. Look for Morris to get first crack on first and second downs, with McFadden filling the change-of-pace/third-down role.
A judge has rejected the NFL's request for an expedited hearing on Ezekiel Elliott's injunction of his six-game suspension, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back will be available to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Monday that Elliott's hearing will be held, as originally scheduled, on Oct. 30.
The story went on to say the NFL had sought an expedited hearing on the temporary restraining order granted to Elliott last week in the ongoing court battle over his six-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy. In its filing, the league said the NFL Players Association cannot satisfy the requirements for preliminary relief, cannot demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits and hasn't shown that it, or Elliott, will suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction.
Ezekiel Elliott is back off suspension.
A U.S. District judge in the Southern District of New York has granted Elliott his temporary restraining order against his six game suspension. Elliott is eligible to play against the 49ers this weekend.
Ian Rapoport's tweet within the story said the suspension "is stayed for 14 days or until further proceedings" so it looks like Elliott can play Week 8 as well. Of course, Elliott's long-term status is still very much up in the air. Basically, this ruling kicks the can down the road two weeks. Owners who picked up Alfred Morris or Darren McFadden should sit tight, if possible.
Let’s work under the assumption that RB Ezekiel Elliott's suspension ruling will be upheld and he will miss the next six games. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will get chances to make up for Elliott’s absence, but I wonder if Rod Smith ultimately can do more than anybody currently knows.
Smith was productive in the spring. He had a strong summer. He ran hard in the preseason. He has been the third-down back the last two games.
It’s odd to project somebody with four carries for 13 yards in his career as a lead back. Plus, he was never the guy at Ohio State either (549 career yards). But Smith has ability. He might be the most similar to Elliott among the Cowboys’ runners, but Smith doesn’t have the pedigree of Morris (three 1,000-yard seasons) or McFadden (top-five pick, the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher in 2015).
Obviously the author is just wondering out loud, in type. However, it may be something to keep in the back of your mind. It's also probably not what fantasy owners of Morris and McFadden want to hear - a possible third option to replace Elliott. Right now, Smith is a stash option.
NFL spokesman on Ezekiel Elliott status: "The suspension is in place and anyone who tells you otherwise is not accurate."
Reports continue to float around that Elliott will again be able to play. But the NFL and the NFLPA seem to disagree on Judge Amos Mazzant's new order. The Fifth Circuit is expected to provide clarity Monday or Tuesday, several reports say. We're suggesting Elliott owners hold off doing anything drastic until there is more clarity in the situation.
This isn't a confirmation from the team, but Bryan Broaddus is a knowledgeable Cowboys source and his guess is that Darren McFadden, not Alfred Morris, would replace Ezekiel Elliott if the Cowboys' starting RB were to miss time due to a suspension.
McFadden hasn't suited up during the regular season. He was last seen in the preseason rushing 20 times for 102 yards for a yards-per-carry average of 5.1. McFadden is a more versatile back than Morris, and could provide a bigger spark to the offense over the former Washington back, but it's all a guessing game at this point. We currently have Morris ranked ahead of McFadden in our rest-of-season rankings.
A federal appeals court overturned a district court's decision in the Ezekiel Elliott case Thursday, meaning the Dallas Cowboys running back's six-game suspension has been reinstated. The Cowboys have a bye this week.
The 5th Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of the NFL that the district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction in Elliott case after hearing oral arguments from the league and NFL Players Association lawyers earlier this month. It vacates the preliminary injunction and directs an order to the lower court to dismiss the case.
However, the NFLPA is expected to re-file the case with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in order to keep Elliott playing, according to Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program.
Adam Schefter: As a practical matter, Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension goes back into effect but...his lawyers still can refile in Dallas or fight it in NY.
Jason La Canfora: Big win in court for NFL with Elliott suspension being vacated. Would expect NFLPA to appeal but timetable for that filing to be heard murky.
At this point, it's not clear if Elliott will be able to play Week 7 (after his camp files another temporary restraining order) or if he'll return in Week 13 after his suspension. Elliott owners should not cut him-he's too valuable for the fantasy playoffs-but it's not completely clear who the RB2 is in Dallas. Darren McFadden seemed to be slated that role for most of the summer, but he's been a healthy scratch for the last few weeks. Alfred Morris has been active on game days, has the second most carries on the team, and is the most likely to see lead back duties if/when Elliott misses time. McFadden could serve as a change-of-pace/third down back since he's much better than Morris in the passing game. In short, this is shaping up to be a Morris/McFadden committee, but it's possible that the Cowboys have a different plan in mind, involving McFadden as the lead back, or Rod Smith or Keith Smith serving as the passing down back instead of McFadden. Regardless, it's worthwhile to consider adding Morris or McFadden if they are available. Morris is the priority in all scoring formats, but the gap is narrower in PPR leagues.
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