The Dallas Cowboys fired up training camp in Oxnard, Calif., over the weekend, offering up an impressive "Arm in Arm" tribute to the Dallas Police Department. But it wasn't all roses for Dallas, as both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett were forced to defend the Cowboys "team culture" with multiple players facing lengthy suspensions and the team facing a potentially a hefty fine.
Also in the spotlight is rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. Drafted No. 4 overall in April's draft, Elliott is expected to be the Cowboys' feature back, but he's facing two investigations -- one from the Columbus (Ohio) City Attorney's office, one from the NFL -- over domestic violence allegations made by an ex-girlfriend.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Elliott is not interested in discussing the matter at training camp.
All three times, Elliott said something along the lines of: "I'm not going to talk about anything regarding legal matters right now, but I'd love to talk about football."
Elliott previously denied he did anything wrong, and his father also came to his public defense. It is also worth noting these are just allegations and Elliott has not been arrested or charged with a crime. The Star-Telegram also said he "didn't seem overly concerned about the allegations."
Cowboys fans don't seem to really mind either. Elliott is leading the entire NFL in jersey sales. Water is wet, the IRS would like to collect your taxes in April and the Cowboys are a popular football team.
All the rookie wanted to do, in fact, was speak in cliches about getting on the field and playing some football.
"I'm excited to get back out here playing ball," Elliott said. "I'm excited for tomorrow to get out here and put the pads on and finally see what everything is about. I'm just looking forward to tomorrow, ready to get better."
It's good that attention is actually paid to cases like this in the NFL in 2016. If Elliott did in fact do something wrong, the league has an excellent opportunity to make a statement it's serious about handling domestic violence incidents.
But it's also important that Elliott be treated fairly with respect to the legal handling of his case. And for the rookie, not saying anything about a matter that could eventually move forward in the legal process is probably a wise move.