NFL suspends Ezekiel Elliott six games for 'multiple' attacks on his girlfriend

NEW YORK - Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for six games Friday after the NFL said it found evidence that the former Ohio State star committed "multiple" attacks on his girlfriend a year ago.

The NFL penalized the league's 2016 rushing leader even though prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to file charges against Elliott. TMZ reported three attacks by Elliott against his girlfriend during a five-day period beginning July 16, 2016.

The league said there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott had "multiple" physical confrontations last summer with his then-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson. Elliott will be eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 23.

Elliott has three days to appeal the ruling. One of his agents didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The NFL Players Association said it was reviewing the decision and had been in touch with Elliott's representatives.

The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.

The domestic violence case was the first in a series of off-field incidents involving Elliott in his first year after the Cowboys made him the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft. He finished with 1,631 yards rushing in helping the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC at 13-3 before a divisional playoff loss to Green Bay.

Elliott was seen in a legal marijuana shop during the preseason in Seattle last year and was caught on video pulling down a woman's shirt during a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dallas this past spring. He was also involved in a bar fight in Dallas a week before training camp.

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