Cowboys first-round rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is currently a suspect in a domestic violence report, but there’s skepticism about its veracity from within the organization. One Cowboys source informed Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that the club thinks a Columbus woman’s allegations that Elliott assaulted her are flat-out untrue, but it warned the ex-Ohio State star to be more careful. Meanwhile, a team source told Josina Anderson of ESPN.com, “The kid, we’ve done our research on him (before he became a Cowboy), it doesn’t point to that (being) part of his nature. That’s all I know.'”
More from the NFL’s two East divisions:
- Former Lions head coach and current Eagles assistant Jim Schwartz is deferring to a neophyte, Doug Pederson, in Philadelphia, but he’ll essentially have full autonomy over the defense, writes Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Schwartz, in fact, will be the “head coach on defense,” according to the offensive-minded Pederson. “He fully understands his role, his situation. He loves where he’s at as a coordinator,” Pederson said of Schwartz, who was 29-51 as Detroit’s head coach from 2009-13. Schwartz has accomplished more as a coordinator, including his stint atop a dominant Buffalo unit in 2014. Pederson is cognizant of that, saying, “My expertise is on offense. His is over there on defense. So whether I have suggestions or not, it’s our defense. But at the same time, he’s the master. He’s done it for 100 years. It’s proven. Just like the offense that I’ve been in is proven.”
- Sheldon Richardson‘s motivation to land a lucrative contract extension and his full-time return to the Jets’ defensive line could lead to a huge season for the 25-year-old, argues Brian Costello of the New York Post. The Jets will no longer experiment with Richardson at linebacker, where he spent some time in 2015. He’s also entering the penultimate year of his contract and will be eligible to sign an extension after the upcoming season. New York just awarded a high-paying deal to fellow standout D-lineman Muhammad Wilkerson last week, of course, and Richardson will look to follow in his footsteps in 2017.
- The Cowboys gave linebacker Justin Durant, who signed with them Monday, an $80K bonus and a $120K base salary guarantee on the one-year deal inked with the team. Durant will count $680K against their salary cap (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com).
- In case you missed it, Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who’s entering a contract year, is unlikely to receive an extension.