National Football League files appeal of Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott's preliminary injunction

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The ongoing court saga wasn't a distraction - not for them and not for Ezekiel Elliott.

Elliott was suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell in August after the league concluded he had several physical confrontations last summer with Tiffany Thompson, a former girlfriend. "The court grants the request for preliminary injunction".

Mazzant's ruling took aim at appeal hearing officer Harold Henderson and the National Football League, saying decisions not to allow Goodell and Thompson to testify at the appeal were among several factors unfair to Elliott. This likely means that Elliott will be able to play for the entire season, much like #Tom Brady did when a district judge ruled in his favor as well during Deflategate. Its attempt to appeal the decision with the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or Goodell could place Elliott on the commissioner's exempt list, as was the case with Adrian Peterson. "The question before the Court is merely whether Elliott received a fundamentally fair hearing before the arbitrator".

The NFL's latest filings came about 12 hours after Elliott rushed for 104 yards in the Cowboys' 19-3 win over the New York Giants at home Sunday night. The league said the appeal process was consistent with its personal conduct policy.

Whether Elliott stays on the field will be decided in court.

What happens next? The NFL is appealing Judge Mazzant's ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The key is if the National Football League also files for a "stay" of the injunction.

The appeals process and the federal lawsuit aren't trying to establish guilt or innocence. Charges never were filed.

"The NFL's actions demonstrate that from the very beginning of the decision-making process, a cloud of fundamental unfairness followed Elliott", Mazzant wrote in granting Elliott an injunction. These processes simply seek to establish whether or not the National Football League acted in a manner that is consistent with its personal conduct policy.

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