Dallas Cowboys executive vice president and CEO Stephen Jones offered his support for Ezekiel Elliott after the star running back received a six-game suspension Friday for a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy.
It was the first public statement by a Cowboys official since Elliott was formally sanctioned.
"Obviously, we knew that this was something that could happen," Jones told ESPN's Todd Archer. "We knew that the investigation was ongoing, and whenever you prepare a football team, you prepare for injury. You prepare for things that are unexpected. And certainly we have done that and are comfortable with who we are on this football team. If we have to play with other running backs, we like the running backs on this team. But at the end of the day, we certainly support Zeke. At the same time, we understand the very, very, very serious nature of domestic violence, certainly that people should be held accountable if that takes place."
Elliott released his own statement Friday, saying he "strongly disagreed" with the league's ruling.
The NFL conducted an investigation into his conduct after one of his ex-girlfriends accused him of domestic violence in 2016. Elliott was never arrested or charged.