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Elliott runs well; still awaits legal rulings

(TSX / STATS) -- FRISCO, Tex. -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 104 yards Sunday night. But he understands his fight with the NFL is not over and there was no guarantee he would be on the field for the entire season.

"It is what it is," Elliott said after the game in what were his first public comments since June. "I've kind of just stopped worrying about it because it's really out of my hands at this point. I'm just happy I'm able to be with these guys for as long as it's permitted and just not having to miss time and not being away from them."

The NFL appealed Elliott's preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in hopes of reinstating the six-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The NFL also asked Judge Amos Mazzant for an emergency "stay" of his injunction, pending the outcome of the appeal.

A "stay" would prevent the injunction from going into effect throughout the outcome of the appeal, thus forcing Elliott to begin serving his six-game suspension immediately. It will make for another frenzied week of legal maneuverings and court proceedings for Elliott, but should not have an impact on his status for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Mazzant gave Elliott and his lawyers from the NFL Players Association until Wednesday to respond to the NFL's request for a stay. The NFL has until Friday to respond to arguments from Elliott.

It likely won't be until next week before before Mazzant rules on the motion.

Elliott won Round 1 last week when Mazzant granted the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, citing that Elliott did not receive a fair appeals hearing before league-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson.

Mazzant ruled that Elliott would suffer irreparable harm if the suspension took effect while the legal case plays out and that Elliott also met the other criteria necessary for an injunction.

He and the Fifth Circuit would have to reverse the decision based on the same reasoning, citing irreparable harm to the NFL if he didn't serve the suspension immediately.

It's unlikely that Mazzant will reverse his own decision when he rules on the motion.

The league will also be hard-pressed to convince the Fifth Circuit court in New Orleans to approve the emergency stay based on irreparable harm, as Elliott could easily serve the suspension next season if he loses in court.

He would face more irreparable harm by missing games this year, if he ultimately wins the case, which is why Mazzant ruled initially in his favor.

Elliott was suspended on Aug. 11 after the NFL concluded a 13-month investigation into domestic violence accusations of former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson.

Columbus, Ohio, prosecutors declined to pursue charges because of conflicting and inconsistent information.

Elliott, 22, said he's looking forward to finally getting "a fair trial."

"I finally get a chance to prove my innocence," Elliott said.

Playing football again and notching the eighth 100-yard game of his career Sunday night against the Giants was easy.

The hard part?

"Just kind of your name being dragged through the mud," Elliott said. "I mean, it's been, like I said, 14 months. Just kind of being associated with that. That's tough."

Updated September 11, 2017

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