The Dallas Cowboys’ season hasn’t gone spectacularly, and now, the team is under fire for a high-profile player’s stupidity. What’s more, the higher-ups seem to be turning a blind eye.
Defensive end Greg Hardy entered this season on the team, bringing a dense history of violence on his report card. These problems came to a head during only his second game of the 2015 season. After a big Dallas touchdown with 7:14 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game, the Giants scored a 100-yard touchdown on a kickoff return to win 27-20.
After the play, Hardy was seen on the sideline yelling on his special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and other players. He also knocked a clipboard out of Bisaccia’s hands, which was captured on video.
Dallas fans dismissed it as Hardy showing his passion. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said it “wasn’t exactly the right time and place,” but dismissed it as a non-issue.
However, given his history, this is another piece of ammunition that proves Dallas needs to part ways with Greg Hardy.
Hardy is an outstanding football player. In 66 career games, Hardy has compiled 216 tackles and 37 sacks. Since joining the Cowboys this season, he has already compiled three sacks and his first career interception.
That said, Hardy was convicted in June 2014 of assaulting a woman and communicating threats. He was deactivated during the 2014 season as the team and league investigated him, but he still continued to receive his salary.
The charges were eventually dropped on appeal after the victim could not be located to testify. The court cited evidence that the parties had reached a civil settlement; for all intents and purposes, Greg Hardy allegedly paid off the victim not to testify against him.
An independent NFL investigation found that Hardy had used violence on four separate occasions, including choking his ex-girlfriend. Hardy is 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, not to mention a professional football player.
That did not stop the Dallas Cowboys from signing him to a $13.1 million salary this offseason. He was originally slated to be suspended for 10 games, but the suspension was reduced to four soon afterward.
When the Cowboys signed him, they should have done so with the knowledge that Hardy is a dangerous individual. It should be common sense for Dallas to have stringent rules to keep him in line.
Greg Hardy knows he is in the limelight and knows he is on television for every part of the game. The same is true of interviews and press availabilities.
Even while knowingly in the public light, Hardy can’t bring himself to stay under control for a few hours a week. If he can’t control himself for that time on Sundays, there is no reason that fans should expect Hardy to be under control when not in front of cameras.
The NFL is at a crossroads when it comes to player conduct, but it currently sits on the wrong side. It has become clear that producing on the field means players are not held accountable off of it. The Cowboys need to reverse this trend and let Hardy deal with his problems instead of empowering him to continue down the same path.