Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for 6 games following the NFL's yearlong domestic violence investigation into the Dallas Cowboys star, the league confirms. 

The league says the investigation found "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Zeke engaged in physical violence against the accuser. 

The league also told Elliott if he violates league policy ever again he could possibly be BANNED from the NFL for life. 

Zeke was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend 5 different times in 6 days back in July 2016.

Cops investigated the allegations but decided there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. 

The NFL conducted its own investigation and apparently felt there was enough evidence to suspend him. 

The NFL issued a statement saying, "Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott."

"The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications."

The NFL says Roger Goodell consulted with 4 external advisors before deciding punishment. 

Elliott denied any wrongdoing -- but the accuser has maintained he attacked her. In fact, she put up a statement last month doubling down on the allegations against Zeke and saying people like her need to speak up and stop domestic violence. 

Elliott's made headlines for all the wrong reasons this offseason -- he was caught exposing a woman's bare breast at a St. Patrick's Day parade and was accused of attacking a man in a Dallas bar in July. 

Adam Schefter says the NFL factored in the St. Patrick's Day incident when meting out punishment. 

THE INCIDENTTMZSports.com

Zeke wasn't arrested or charged with any crime for either incident ... but it's been reported the league would take these incidents into consideration when determining his punishment.

The news will undoubtedly come as a shock to Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, who just told us THIS WEEK that Zeke would NOT be suspended. 

STRAIGHT TO THE POINTTMZSports.com