Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk says Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott "totally understands" that he needs to mature following Friday's announcement by the NFL that Elliott has been suspended for six games following a domestic violence investigation.
"Obviously, we all have to grow up in life and make mistakes, and sometimes some of those mistakes cost you dearly," Faulk said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "It's another thing of just understanding the magnitude of what's around you and how things are."
Elliott and Faulk spoke Saturday before the Cowboys' 13-10 preseason loss to the Los Angeles Rams in which the Dallas running back did not play. Faulk was in Los Angeles for his announcing duties with NFL Network.
They have known each other since Elliott's high school days. Faulk previously said he doesn't consider himself a mentor to Elliott but rather a friend. The Hall of Famer has said he wished he had someone to guide him at the start of his NFL career.
Faulk said Saturday that Elliott can be "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"We're not talking about a kid who is dumbfounded and doesn't know," Faulk said. "It's not just about making the right decision, but when things start to go wrong, knowing when to walk away."
Elliott's father, Stacy, on Sunday told E:60 in a statement that he was "surprised and very disappointed with [the] NFL's decision and disagree with the league's findings."
"I am 100% confident that Ezekiel's legal team will be able to show the world that he never abused this young lady!" Stacy Elliott said in the statement. "Ezekiel was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys at 20 yrs old. So he isn't perfect. But I am confident he will continue to learn from his life experiences."
The NFL announced the suspension after a 13-month investigation into allegations that Elliott engaged in physical violence against a former girlfriend in July 2016. Elliott is expected to file his appeal of the NFL's ruling on Tuesday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Elliott made a statement via social media Friday but did not address reporters as he left the Coliseum with a member of the Cowboys' security team.
Information from ESPN's Todd Archer was used in this report.