Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

Ezekiel Elliott's suspension has sparked a war of words between the NFL and NFLPA. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a week since the NFL handed down a six-game suspension to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott after the league said it found "credible evidence" of Elliott using “physical force” against his ex-girlfriend. Given that the Dallas RB was never charged and how long this investigation took by the league, it's not surprising that the case has continued to pick up steam since.

The Cowboys, particularly owner Jerry Jones, appear to upset, Elliott expressed his disappointment in the decision and filed an appeal, the NFL has warned the back could be banned, Elliott's father chimed in, and the NFL and NFLPA traded barbs with one another. The latter came about as the NFL shifted blame for Zeke's suspension to the police and NFLPA: "By their logic, erring on the side of caution with a six-game suspension, the NFL avoids another media blitz focused on how the NFL is unconcerned with domestic violence. Avoiding a continuation of that damning narrative is paramount, even if it comes at the cost of undermining whatever credibility remains in the league’s dealings with DV."

It certainly appears like Elliott will fight this tooth and nail, and no matter what results, it appears the Cowboys will be without their star offensive weapon for some amount of time. So with Elliott on the sidelines, even more will be hoist upon fellow NFL sophomore Dak Prescott, who is on our list of the most important player on every NFL team:

Most important player on every NFL team in 2017

As you might suspect, that list is littered with quarterbacks, but that wasn't the case for every team. Take, for instance, the New York Jets, who just can't seem to find a reliable signal caller. It's easy to see the team isn't confident in any of the QBs on its roster, leading us to the 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz:

QUIZ: Name every QB to start at least one game for the New York Jets since 1992

Since the 1992 NFL season, the New York Jets have started 22 different quarterbacks under center. How many can you name in five minutes?

Good luck!


62 / #6
Mark Sanchez
61 / #10
Chad Pennington
61 / #16
Vinny Testaverde
42 / #7
Boomer Esiason
30 / #7
Geno Smith
27 / #14
Ryan Fitzpatrick
20 / #14
Neil O'Donnell
16 / #4
Brett Favre
13 / #8
Browning Nagle
9 / #18, #6
Ray Lucas
9 / #6, #11
Kellen Clemens
9 / #5
Brooks Bollinger
8 / #14, #4
Glenn Foley
7 / #7
Frank Reich
6 / #3
Rick Mirer
4 / #9
Bryce Petty
4 / #6
Bubby Brister
3 / #17
Quincy Carter
3 / #7
Ken O'Brien
3 / #1
Michael Vick
2 / #10
Jack Trudeau
1 / #14
Greg McElroy

If you're looking for a team that looked like a mess early on but has suddenly come to life, we turn to the baseball diamond. Following a string of dominance in the NL Central that was finally ended by the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs, it looked like the St. Louis Cardinals were heading in the wrong direction. That carried over into this season, until the Cardinals took their season back by the unlikeliest of means: "As the young cat bounded across the Busch Stadium outfield, soliciting a louder and louder reply from the 40,000-plus in attendance, followed by the laughs of that same crowd as he clawed and bit the unfortunate young member of the grounds crew who was tasked with retrieving him, very few would know that presence of said kitten  – now known as ‘Rally Cat’ – would signal the turning point of a resurgent moment in the Cardinal season."

The Cards have done this despite the struggles of their most accomplished pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has an ERA over 5.00 and has not looked sharp in his past few outings. This is surprising, despite his age and injury history, because he's among the leaders in active pitchers in strikeouts and has had so much success over the years. In fact, he's led the league in strikeouts twice in his career.

However, as Wainwright falters, a new strikeout king has emerged. Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has been absolutely dominant in his first season in Beantown, and he leads the league in strikeouts, innings pitched, ERA, WHIP and wins at present. That leads us to the 'For Sale this fall: All of the awards' quiz:

QUIZ: Name the 25 active MLB pitchers with the most strikeouts

How many of Major League Baseball's active leaders in Ks can you name in five minutes?

Good luck!


2806 / NYY
CC Sabathia
2423 / MIN
Bartolo Colon
2339 / DET
Justin Verlander
2333 / SEA
Felix Hernandez
2254 / CHC
John Lackey
2186 / ARZ
Zack Greinke
2180 / TEX
Cole Hamels
2101 / WAS
Max Scherzer
2086 / LAD
Clayton Kershaw
2035 / CHW
James Shields
2016 / CHC
Jon Lester
1863 / MIN
Ervin Santana
1692 / BAL
Ubaldo Jimenez
1680 / SF
Matt Cain
1663 / BOS
David Price
1632 / HOU
Francisco Liriano
1621 / SD
Jered Weaver
1608 / LAD
Scott Kazmir
1583 / STL
Adam Wainwright
1571 / CIN
Bronson Arroyo
1550 / WAS
Gio Gonzalez
1508 / SEA
Yovani Gallardo
1485 / BOS
Chris Sale
1479 / LAA
Ricky Nolasco
1472 / SF
Johnny Cueto

Sale has been so unhittable this season — and his entire career, really — that he's entered the pantheon of the top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time:

The top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time

Two of the great lefties on that list are among the 23 men to throw a perfect game in Major League Baseball. So we leave you this week with the '27 up, 27 down' quiz:

QUIZ: Name every pitcher in MLB history to throw a perfect game

Only 23 pitchers have ever thrown a perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. How many pitchers from this exclusive fraternity can you name in six minutes? 


8.15.2012 / SEA
Felix Hernandez
6.13.2012 / SF
Matt Cain
4.21.2012 / CHW
Philip Humber
5.29.2010 / PHI
Roy Halladay
5.9.2010 / OAK
Dallas Braden
7.23.2009 / CHW
Mark Buehrle
5.18.2004 / ARZ
Randy Johnson
7.18.1999 / NYY
David Cone
5.17.1998 / NYY
David Wells
7.28.1994 / TEX
Kenny Rogers
7.28.1991 / MON
Dennis Martinez
9.16.1988 / CIN
Tom Browning
9.30.1984 / CAL
Mike Witt
5.15.1981 / CLE
Len Barker
5.8.1968 / OAK
Catfish Hunter
9.9.1965 / LAD
Sandy Koufax
6.21.1964 / PHI
Jim Bunning
10.8.1956 / NYY
Don Larsen
4.30.1922 / CHW
Charlie Robertson
10.2.1908 / CLE
Addie Joss
5.5.1904 / BOS
Cy Young
6.17.1880 / PRO
Monte Ward
6.12.1880 / WOR
Lee Richmond

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The 'Braves new world' quiz

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Top 10 players at every MLB position for the 2018 season

Jamal Murray's heel turn is exactly what the Nuggets need

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Why you should watch this year's NCAA Tournament

Why you shouldn't watch this year's NCAA Tournament

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