Ezekiel Elliott is clapping back at the NFL after they filed a motion in court this morning ... saying the league "will stop at nothing" to nail the star RB.

The NFL filed an appeal in a Federal Appeals court Friday morning arguing that Zeke should have to sit until his appeal plays out in court.

Last week, a judge in a Texas court ruled the opposite ... saying E.E. can play until the larger matter is sorted out.

Elliott's reps quickly responded, saying, "The NFL's latest legal maneuvering appears to be indicative of a league with an agenda: trying to navigate a public relations crisis rather than focus on fairness and fact finding."

"The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the NFL believes it can write its own rules and will stop at nothing to further its agenda of enforcing its unfounded assertions regarding Mr. Elliott."

In the league's filing, they asked the judge to make a decision by September 26 ... week 4 of the NFL season.

Zeke's reps are adamant they'll "zealously oppose any of the NFL's court filings."