Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys’ most dominant player and a true No. 1 cornerback.
He’s a three-time Pro Bowler and one of the NFL’s best pass rushers.
He has more than 1,000 receiving yards and four touchdowns in nine seasons.
But the Cowboys will miss him as a member of the team and the team as a whole.
He was suspended for the first four games of the season after he violated the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
And after Elliott and Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli made it clear during training camp that they don’t plan to rely on Elliott as a No. 2 cornerback, the Cowboys are likely to look to upgrade at the position.
Now, it’s Elliott’s turn to be evaluated.
Here’s what you need to know: Elliott is suspended for four games.
The Cowboys will hold an optional minicamp next week.
The team will conduct a thorough evaluation of Elliott’s work ethic and approach and whether it makes sense to put him back on the field, coach Jason Garrett said.
The club plans to release a statement Monday regarding the decision.
“We have a responsibility to respect the integrity of the investigation and we have a commitment to our players and to our fans to treat all players with respect and dignity,” Garrett said Monday.
Elliott’s suspension was handed down Oct. 30.
The NFL announced his suspension on Oct. 31, four days after Elliott was arrested for driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
He pleaded guilty to driving under a suspension and aggravated DUI.
Elliott was also charged with failing to maintain his lane of travel in a crash that killed a pedestrian on the northbound side of Interstate 10 in Houston on Sept. 15.
Elliott played through a fractured left hand on the game’s opening kickoff and was not available for Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
But he finished the game with 1.5 sacks and eight tackles, with a career-high five quarterback hurries and four pass deflections.
He also had a career high four quarterback hits, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Elliott will undergo a physical in Dallas on Monday.
The second-year cornerback is expected to be placed on the non-football injury list.
The injury is a result of a neck injury suffered during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 24-10 loss to New Orleans.
The Dallas-based Pro Football Hall of Fame released a statement on Monday saying it is “disappointed” by the decision and “disgusted” by Elliott’s behavior.
“Elliott has displayed a pattern of unacceptable behavior in the past,” the statement read.
“His actions are detrimental to our team and our fans, and his behavior is an unacceptable distraction to the game of football.
He should not be playing this season.”
Elliott’s absence is significant.
The defensive back started four games last season and was part of the Cowboys top unit.
Elliott has not played since the Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent from the University of South Florida.
He had been under the team’s radar since being signed by the team.
Elliott spent his rookie season in Philadelphia.
He played in eight games for the Eagles, recording one tackle and three pass deflection.
He will be competing for a starting spot with fellow undrafted free agents Byron Jones and Robert Blanton.