Defensive end Greg Hardy drew the most attention Wednesday, the second day of the Dallas Cowboys’ organized team activities, even though the defensive end didn’t talk to the media.
He walked off the practice field with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who grabbed Hardy’s hand at one point.
“He comes to work every day,” Marinelli said. “He doesn’t say much. He just comes to work. He’s a detail guy. He’s got talent. The guy really loves football. That’s special.”
Hardy will miss Thursday’s organized team activity to attend the appeal of his 10-game NFL suspension. Harold Henderson will hear the case at 9 a.m. CDT in Washington.
“No real comment beyond just supporting him, and this is part of the process that he’s going to go through in appealing this suspension,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He and his representatives will handle it as well as they can, and we’ll see what happens. ... We’re going to try to handle it the right way as an organization, and we expect him to handle it the right way as an individual player.”
The NFLPA emailed several points it intends to argue, including the “retroactive application of the new personal conduct policy held illegal by federal court in [the Adrian] Peterson case.” NFL policy at the time of Hardy’s arrest in May 2014 dictated a two-game suspension.
The Carolina Panthers paid Hardy $13.1 million last season, though he played only one game before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. He signed with the Cowboys in March before Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for more than half the season for “conduct detrimental to the league.”
Hardy, 26, recorded 26 sacks in 2012 and 2013 combined.
McClain has surgery
Rolando McClain recently had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Garrett said.
The middle linebacker was at Valley Ranch last week, but he missed the start of OTAs this week and could be out until training camp while rehabbing.
“Rolando McClain has not been here the last couple of days,” Garrett said. “He was here last week working through some rehab down in Alabama, taking care of some personal issues.”
Linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Morris Claiborne are participating in walk-through and individual drills, while working back from injuries that cut short their 2014 seasons.
Romo a go
For the first time in three years, Tony Romo gets to do more than just watch the Cowboys’ OTAs.
“It’s been great,” Romo said Wednesday. “I think just to be able to kind of have an off-season. You’re always rehabbing, but at the same time, I’m kind of able to build during this off-season. It’s exciting really.”
In 2013, Romo had surgery to remove a cyst from his back, which kept him out of the off-season program, OTAs and minicamp. He spent last off-season rehabbing from the herniated disk surgery he underwent the previous December.
Last season, Romo missed the Arizona game because of two fractures in his transverse process. But he entered the off-season fully healed.
“Tony’s obviously further along [this year],” Garrett said. “He didn’t have an off-season surgery, so he was able to do a lot more things in our off-season program up to this point.
“… He, like with a lot of guys on our team, you want to make sure you monitor them. You’re on top of where they are every day in terms of their reps and what work they’re getting. But he’s handled everything we’ve asked him to do to this point really well.”
Dez Bryant has yet to sign his $12.82 million franchise-tag tender, while still seeking a long-term deal before July 15. The star receiver continues to work out on his own.
“Obviously when you have him, it makes things a little bit easier,” Romo said. “Tell him to come on back.”
The Cowboys have seen Bryant at Valley Ranch a handful of times this off-season. Bryant’s competitiveness draws him back occasionally. But with no meaningful negotiations with the Cowboys, Bryant likely won’t be on the field with his teammates until training camp.
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760