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Roger Goodell: Thorough investigation 'fair' to Ezekiel Elliott

IRVING, Texas -- Five months later, the NFL’s investigation into Ezekiel Elliott's domestic violence incident continues, according to commissioner Roger Goodell.

While Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has wondered about the fairness to the rookie running back of the drawn-out investigation, Goodell said Tuesday that the length of the investigation is to Elliott’s benefit.

“The best way to be fair to a player is to be thorough and to take our time to get it right,” Goodell said at the owners meetings held at the Las Colinas Four Seasons and Resort. “That is what we’re working at. We have professionals that are working on this. We’re not putting a timetable on it. We want to make sure that they get it right and get all the facts. When they reach a conclusion, we’ll all know about it.”

The NFL found itself in the spotlight earlier this season after learning of domestic violence incidents involving New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended for just one game. The Giants released Brown in October.

Numerous times this season, Jones has said he expects Elliott to be cleared. In October, an attorney for Elliott demanded the league close its investigation.

Goodell had no update regarding the status of suspended defensive end Randy Gregory. He is currently eligible to return to practice Monday, but confusion arose last week when the league denied his attempt to return to practice after saying he had not complied with all facets of his suspension. Gregory was initially suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and an additional 10 games was added for another violation over the summer.

Reports have Gregory facing another suspension. However, he could be able to practice and play while that is under appeal.