Dallas Cowboys

Aikman on the Cowboys’ Hardy: 'He's here because he's a pass rusher'

Troy Aikman speaks to the media at a golf event Monday.
Troy Aikman speaks to the media at a golf event Monday. Special to the Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback and current NFL on FOX analyst Troy Aikman and upcoming inductee Tim Brown weighed in Monday on the Cowboys’ recent signing of defensive end Greg Hardy.

"The Greg Hardy signing obviously has evoked a lot of emotion from a lot of people and I don't know the details of what happened," Aikman said. "I've got daughters, I understand what domestic violence is and there's no place for it. He's here because he's a pass rusher, no matter what else is said about it, but I'm hopeful that whatever did happen that he's learned from it and maybe he can be an advocate to create some change."

Said Brown: "I played with the Raiders and we signed everybody. It is not a matter of what offense you commit, it's a matter of how good of a football player you are. No one has signed Ray Rice now because frankly, no one needs him. ...Yeah, this guy (Hardy) made a mistake, but what is he going to do to correct that mistake and he should be saying that. Those are the things his marketing people and agents should be saying and getting out in front of people and letting everyone know that he made a tremendous mistake.

Hardy missed 15 games with the Carolina Panthers last season after a North Carolina judge convicted him of domestic violence in 2014. Hardy appealed, asking for a jury trial. But the case was eventually dismissed becuase his former girlfriend refused to cooperate with authorities and couldn’t be found to testify after reportedly receiving a financial settlement from Hardy.

The NFL is doing its own investigation and a filed a lawsuit last week against the district attorney to hand over material related to the case. Hardy could face a four-to-six game suspension this season.

Hardy has denied his ex-girlfriend’s accusations that during an argument in May he choked her, threw her around and threatened to kill her.

The Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year, incentive-laden deal worth up to $13.1 million with bonuses on May 18.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones addressed the issue at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday.

Jones and vice president Stephen Jones said pwople have forgotten a key factor in the equation: The visibility of the Cowboys can raise awareness of domestic violence, while also holding Hardy accountable.

“One thing about the Cowboys is that it’s a great platform to make people aware about domestic violence, the fact that we don’t want that in our society,” Stephen Jones said. “We take domestic violence very seriously. We feel strongly you have to be accountable in that area. It was important to us to structure a contract that holds him accountable.”

Aikman and Brown spoke at the inaugural Katy Trail Ice House Invitational golf tournamentat Gleneagles Country Club. The event benefited the Friends of Katy Trail, the non-profit organization that is responsible for the maintenance and improvements of the very popular Katy Trail in Dallas.

Staff writer Clarence E. Hill Jr. contributed to this report.

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