Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys will play Hardy at right defensive end

The Dallas Cowboys are banking that free agent pickup Greg Hardy can make an impact on defense, particularly in the pass rush department.
The Dallas Cowboys are banking that free agent pickup Greg Hardy can make an impact on defense, particularly in the pass rush department. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Despite a domestic violence case last year and a possible suspension by the NFL this year, defensive end Greg Hardy is on the Dallas Cowboys because he is a special football player who specializes in rushing the passer.

The Cowboys are making no secret of that. They are excited about the impact he can make on defense based on his dominating play for the Carolina Panthers from 2010-2013. He played one game last year before being placed on the NFL commissioner's exempt list because of a domestic assault charge.

“We think he is an outstanding player,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He was one of those guys that made so many plays on the ball. He makes a lot hits on the ball in the running game. He is around the quarterback, sacking him, affecting him and certainly playing that read option. He was very effective at that as well.”

Garrett says Hardy will play right defensive end, but his strength is his versatility and his ability to rush from anywhere on the line. DeMarcus Lawrence will likely move to left end.

“He has great versatility as a player. A lot of different skills. You can use him in a lot of different spots,” Garrett said. “We believe in rotating our defensive line, kind of coming at the offense in waves.

“He needs to get acclimated to our system of football and we take that step by step.”

Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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