Federal appeals court clears way for 6-game suspension of Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

FRISCO, Texas — A federal appeals court has lifted an injunction that blocked a six-game suspension for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott, clearing the way for the NFL’s punishment over domestic violence allegations and likely leading to the running back’s legal team seeking further relief.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday granted the league’s emergency request to set aside the injunction and ordered the district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott’s case. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 to back the NFL’s argument.

A federal judge in Texas issued an injunction that blocked the suspension last month, agreeing with NFL players’ union attorneys who argued that the investigation of the allegations in Ohio and subsequent appeal were unfair to Elliott.

The NFL countered that it followed procedures under the league’s labor deal and that the union improperly filed a lawsuit before the appeals process was complete.