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Stephen Jones ‘betting on’ Ezekiel Elliott avoiding ‘bad decisions’ going forward

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones believes Ezekiel Elliott will do a better job of avoiding “bad decisions”  after serving his suspension.

Elliott ultimately accepted a six-game suspension levied against him by the NFL following a protracted legal process. The second-year running back will serve the final game of his six-game suspension in Week 15, sitting out the Cowboys’ Sunday night showdown with the Oakland Raiders.

Jones, while appearing this week on “The Ticket” KTCK-AM (1310) and KTCK-FM (96.7), expressed confidence that Elliott has learned his lesson. Although Jones was quick to point out the Cowboys organization never necessarily agreed with the severity of the punishment.

“Obviously, we’ve had our differences in what his punishment, what his accountability should have been. But at the end of the day, he’s made some bad decisions,” Jones said, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. “Whatever the length [of his suspension] was, to say he was without fault – I think everybody agrees he’s made some bad decisions.

“… And hopefully in his time off he’s certainly going through that in his mind in terms of what it’s going to take, and hopefully when we get him back he’ll come back ready to go and help us make a run.”

Jones was asked if the Cowboys can count on Elliott going forward especially given another misstep could yield harsher consequences.

“I think he understands that. We understand that,” Jones said. “We all know that once you have your first punishment, the second one is usually harsher. And I’m betting on Zeke.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been consistently critical of the NFL’s handling of the Elliott case. He suggested the punishment was the result of an “over-correction” by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in response to the public relations disaster the league endured over its mishandling of the Ray Rice case.

All told, the Cowboys will be happy to see Elliott return while remaining hopeful he leaves those “bad decisions” in the past.