Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith is, like many, concerned about Ezekiel Elliott after the running back was suspended six games by the NFL.
Speaking on the Rich Eisen Show Friday, Smith expressed grave concern about where Elliott might be headed.
“What I’m really concerned about is his future,” Smith said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for a lot of athletes to be able to do something that you absolutely love and get compensated for it and be able to have an impact in another person’s life. But this is temporary. We have a shelf life in this sport. This doesn’t last long, so we have to take advantage of every moment and missing six games right now is not affording you the opportunity to take advantage of every moment.
“This is a time to reflect and ask fundamental questions of one’s self. Do I want a real long career in this National Football League, which I can have? Or do I just want to play it year by year and just live for the now? This is about his future.”
At this point, when the interview was being conducted, Smith assumed Elliott would be missing the six games to start the season.
“For Zeke, it’s going to be tormenting to watching someone else taking the reps that he should be getting,” said Smith, who missed two games in 1993 in a contract holdout. “It’s going to be tormenting. So I want to be a sounding board for him. I want to see him become very, very successful.”
Smith also said he’d be willing to be an accountability partner with Elliott, if he’d be willing.
“What do we do from here?” Smith said he would tell Elliott. “Let’s devise a game plan for the next six to seven, maybe eight weeks. How can we become accountability partners?”
At this point, it’s not a given that Elliott will be suspended to start the season.
The NFL came to the conclusion that Elliott assaulted his ex-girlfriend multiple times based on the forensic evidence and interviews with “dozens” of people connected to the case, as well as experts. However, Elliott has reportedly been considering taking this case to the U.S. court system if his appeal is denied. He could conceivably play out the entire season if his case progresses past appeals court.
Still, there have been other instances quite aside from the alleged violence that Elliott is accused of perpetrating, including the infamous instance where he pulled a woman’s top down during a parade.
Needless to say, it would be wise for the young man to hear what people like Smith have to say.