Jerry Jones: Cowboys have 'complete zero tolerance' regarding domestic violence

Running back Ezekiel Elliott will play for the Cowboys on Sunday, just days after his request for a brief administrative stay was granted. That means Elliott's six-game suspension for alleged incidents of domestic violence has been put on hold again.

Elliott told reporters that he hasn't ever considered accepting his suspension because "it's bigger than football."

"This is bigger than a suspension," the running back said, via the Dallas Morning News. "It's bigger than football, them [NFL] trying to make me something I'm not. I'm not an abuser. That's not who I am. This is my name and this is my reputation. This is something I'm going to have to live with beyond football. Every day is worth fighting."

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones repeatedly made his case on Friday that Elliott hasn't been treated fairly.

"Make no mistake about it, there is zero tolerance, complete zero tolerance by me and by the Cowboys about domestic violence," Jones said, via the Morning News. "Complete zero tolerance. I know the complete facts as it's presented of anything the NFL knows about. And he is not being treated fairly."

Last week Jones said Elliott  was a "victim of overcorrection" by commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice assault case. And while there may be some truth to that, the Cowboys are also the same franchise that signed Greg Hardy during the 2015 offseason despite the fact that Hardy was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill his former girlfriend prior to the 2014 season. Hardy was found guilty in a bench trial -- under North Carolina law that automatically triggered his right to a jury trial in Superior Court. But the case was dismissed after prosecutors were unable to locate the former girlfriend, who reportedly reached a settlement with Hardy.

At the time of Hardy's signing, Jones' daughter, Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson, defended the decision.

"We don't believe in throwing people away," Anderson said in March 2015. "The experts have told us it is far better to provide a way out, coupled with educational and rehabilitative services and therapy. That does more to protect the victim and prevent future violence than a zero tolerance policy. We have to trust the advice of the experts. I embrace that."

Weeks later, Hardy was suspended 10 games for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension was later reduced to four games. He finished the season with 12 starts, six sacks, a forced fumble and an interception but the Cowboys chose not to re-sign him.  On Saturday night, Hardy made his MMA debut.

Meanwhile, Elliott's legal team is open to the possibility of a settlement with the league regarding his six-game suspension, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. However, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart tells La Canfora that "we are not interested in a settlement."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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