Thursday will be the three-week mark since Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy appealed his 10-game suspension, and arbitrator Harold Henderson has yet to issue a ruling.
The drawn-out process, though, hasn’t seemed to affect the Cowboys or Hardy, who is participating in this week’s minicamp like every other healthy player on the roster.
Asked if he had any indication from the league when a ruling might be coming down, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: “No, I don’t. We don’t want to expect anything from a time standpoint.
“We don’t want to expect anything cause we need to have the league and Greg and us to have a full opportunity to have a thorough consideration.”
The league handed Hardy a 10-game suspension back in April for violating the personal conduct policy, stemming from a May 2014 domestic violence incident. The appeal was heard May 28, and Henderson’s decision could come down at any point.
There have been some questions as to why it takes the appeals process so long to complete, whether it’s with Hardy, Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson. But, as a member of the NFL’s Management Council, Jones said this isn’t a pressing issue.
“I haven’t thought that that’s been a serious enough issue in terms of a team managing or making it’s plans,” Jones said. “I haven’t seen a serious negative there.”
Hardy and his team likely have a different point of view. If the suspension is upheld, they could go to court to challenge the outcome and get it overturned as Peterson did. The quicker the decision, the better for Hardy to possibly get a ruling from federal court before the start of the regular season.
For the time being, the Cowboys have been pleased with Hardy and his work ethic. He is running with the first team defensive line, and has made a positive impact for the most part.
“We’ve had that situation in the past where a guy might not be available to us in the early part of the season and we really feel like it’s important to maximize the reps in the offseason and in training camp,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Use those reps as kind of a cushion for when you’re away and then you’re that much more ready when you come back.
“There is no question we like his work ethic, both in the weight room and on the practice field. He comes to work every day. He’s passionate about the game. He’s certainly a talented player.”
Hardy has yet to be made available for comment, but is expected to once the appeal process is complete.
It was a stiffer-than-expected penalty for Hardy, who reached a one-year deal with the Cowboys on March 18. Most believed Hardy would be in line for a four- to six-game suspension after he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list for the final 15 games last season.
If the suspension is upheld, Hardy would not be eligible to return to the Cowboys until the Thanksgiving week game against the Carolina Panthers, his former team. But that is a stretch, considering the Cowboys have a short practice week with only two light walkthroughs.
So it would be more likely that Hardy wouldn’t make a meaningful impact until the following week, a Monday night game at Washington.
It might be sooner than that, of course, if the arbitrator sides with Hardy.
Hardy’s side contends that the NFL should have used the personal conduct policy in place when the incident occurred, not the updated one they implemented after the Ray Rice debacle.
The NFL, meanwhile, stands by its suspension handed down after a two-month investigation into the matter. The NFL concluded that Hardy used physical force against his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, in at least four instances.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760