Arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced Greg Hardy’s suspension from 10 games to four, but the question remains whether the Cowboys defensive end will accept the punishment. The NFLPA has maintained that, based on the personal conduct policy in place when Hardy’s arrest occurred, he should miss only two games.
Hardy’s decision whether to take legal action against the league is expected soon.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, speaking for the first time since the NFL’s announcement of Hardy’s appeal, said the next step is completely up to Hardy.
“That has more input than just my thoughts on it,” Jones said Wednesday during a conference call announcing Dez Bryant’s new contract.
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The Cowboys signed Hardy to an incentive-laden deal in March before Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for more than half the season for “conduct detrimental to the league.” Hardy got six of those games back last week when Henderson reduced the sentence.
While it was a win for the Cowboys, who had only 28 sacks last season, Jones tempered his comments. Hardy’s suspension stemmed from domestic violence charges against an ex-girlfriend while he played with the Carolina Panthers.
“What I’m proud of it is that we have seen that he’s a serious influence to the tempo, to the passion, to the competitiveness of practicing that probably will carry over to games,” Jones said. “That’s a great deal. I’m just glad to have him out there. I’m glad to have him on the field. So from that standpoint, I’m pleased that we’re going to having his contribution this year.”
As it stands, Hardy will miss games against the Giants, Eagles, Falcons and Saints. He is scheduled to return to Valley Ranch on Oct. 5, the week before the team’s Week 5 game against the Patriots.
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760