Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott granted temporary restraining order, suspension on hold

A district court judge in Texas has granted Ezekiel Elliott’s request for a preliminary injunction, which should clear the way for the Dallas Cowboys running back to remain on the field while he tries to get his six-game suspension overturned in court.

Ezekiel Elliott will likely play the entire 2017 season after his suspension was put on hold.

Judge Amos Mazzant called the arbitration process for Elliott "fundamentally unfair" and wrote in his ruling that both the NFL and arbitrator Harold Henderson violated the collective bargaining agreement by not meeting "procedural requirements" for the appeals hearing, including a denial of a request by Elliott’s representatives to review investigators’ notes and the ability to cross-examine commissioner Roger Goodell and the woman who accused Elliott of domestic violence.

"The NFL’s actions demonstrate that from the very beginning of the decision-making process, a cloud of fundamental unfairness followed Elliott. Unfortunately, this cloud followed Elliott into the arbitration proceedings," Mazzant wrote.

Henderson on Tuesday upheld Goodell’s punishment of Elliott for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Elliott’s suspension was supposed to begin next week after the NFL agreed to allow him to prepare for and play in Sunday’s season opener while Mazzant made his ruling.


RULING:Read the full decision from Judge Amos Mazzant

BELL:Elliott has already paid in the court of public opinion

"We are very pleased that Mr. Elliott will finally be given the opportunity to have an impartial decision-maker carefully examine the NFL's misconduct," Elliott's lawyers said in a release. "This is just the beginning of the unveiling of the NFL's mishandling as it relates to Mr. Elliott's suspension."

The NFL’s next move would be to appeal Mazzant’s ruling to a 5th circuit court, a process would likely take months. 

Elliott would likely get to stay with the Cowboys while the case remains in the legal system.

The Cowboys have three other players suspended for various violations of the league’s CBA: defensive linemen Randy Gregory (season), David Irving (4 games) and Damontre Moore (2 games).

Elliott has maintained his innocence and has made it clear that he and the NFL Players Association will pursue every legal avenue in a quest for exoneration.

"Commissioner discipline will continue to be a distraction from our game for one reason: because NFL owners have refused to collectively bargain a fair and transparent process that exists in other sports," the NFLPA said in a statement after the ruling was handed down. "This 'imposed' system remains problematic for players and the game, but as the honest and honorable testimony of a few NFL employees recently revealed, it also demonstrates the continued lack of integrity within their own League office."

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

PHOTOS: Ezekiel Elliott's career