Goodell aware of lead investigator's doubts in Ezekiel Elliott case

Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott suspended six games for conduct

NFL players' union alleges 'league-orchestrated conspiracy' against Elliott

Of the twists and turns that the Ezkiel Elliott suspension saga has taken so far, perhaps none were as eyebrow-raising as the report that Kia Roberts, the NFL's own director of investigations, recommended that the league impose no discipline on the Dallas Cowboys running back.

The obvious difference between this ordeal and Deflategate is that this isn't about deflated balls, these are allegations of domestic violence against Elliott, which are obviously much more serious.

"This decision comes as a result of the startling revelations by the NFL's co-lead investigator that she - the only National Football League investigator who personally interviewed all of the witnesses, including the accuser - did not support the decision to discipline Mr. Elliott".

Even if his suspension is knocked down, expect Elliott to continue the legal avenue if it's not vacated completely. Neither is the timing.

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According to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Plano, just outside the Cowboys' Frisco headquarters, the NFLPA said Elliott was subject to one of "the most fundamentally unfair arbitral processes conceivable".

Elliott's six-game suspension was a result of a physical altercation with his ex-girlfriend.

After she finished her part of the investigation, Roberts apparently made it clear that she didn't think Elliot should be banned because she believed Thompson "was not credible in her allegations of abuse", according to the petition.

The concerns about the NFL's investigative process in this matter could form the basis for a court challenge aimed at getting Elliott on the field for the Cowboys' Week 1 game against the Giants. The NFLPA, and Elliott, are now crying foul because the NFL issued its six-game suspension of Elliott without seeking Roberts' input.

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"No. In fact, at Kia's level, she wouldn't, and she didn't", Lockhart said. In addition, they planned on noting his refusal to allow them to question Thompson during the appeal hearing, as well as his decision to bar the introduction of notes and material investigators gathered while interviewing her.

The players association's lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order against any potential suspension to "prevent severe and irreparable harm to Elliott, his reputation, and his career" that would happen were the suspension to be upheld and enforced.

Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott's appeal hearing ended on Thursday, and now the decision is in arbitrator Harold Henderson's hands.

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