Dallas Cowboys

Hardy causes ruckus on Cowboys sideline following Giants kickoff return

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy didn’t have much to say about his sideline argument with Dez Bryant and other teammates.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy didn’t have much to say about his sideline argument with Dez Bryant and other teammates. Star-Telegram

Greg Hardy spent 30 seconds during his postgame interview saying “no comment” eight times and a combination of “next question” or “any other questions?” nine times.

The defensive end had no interest in discussing his sideline tantrum during the fourth quarter that lasted much longer than his session with reporters.

         

Hardy created another stir, something that has become the norm for him during his brief tenure with the Cowboys. But his teammates and coaches continue to praise and support Hardy, despite his constant flirtation between being too passionate and borderline crazed.

He wanted to get in there and kind of get after some of the guys a little bit, maybe get them fired up. It was just not the right time.

Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia on Greg Hardy

This time, Hardy blew up on the sidelines after Giants return man Dwayne Harris returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown that proved to be the difference in a 27-20 victory for the Giants.

A bizarre scene unfolded after Harris scored.

Hardy marched on the field waving his hands, seemingly encouraging the Giants fans to cheer louder as he is on the special teams unit when the Giants kicked the extra point.

Then Hardy went to the sidelines and more antics ensued. He pushed and shoved with several teammates getting ready for the kickoff during their sideline huddle, including Danny McCray, Devin Street and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.

All three — McCray, Street and Bisaccia — didn’t seem to mind Hardy’s antics.

“He wanted to get in there and kind of get after some of the guys a little bit, maybe get them fired up,” Bisaccia said. “It was just not the right time. It’s really not an issue. I just had to communicate what we were going to do next on the return, so I just really wanted him to move on so we could get going.”

Added McCray: “It was surprising he was in there. I know when he came, he kind of pushed me a little bit. I just didn’t realize who he was. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, who is this?’ Once you realize it’s Greg, you’re like, ‘We need to make a play.’ We understand that was our fault to give up that lead and he was just showing us the passion to show us we need to fix it.”

We just tell him and assure him that we have his back. This D-line sticks together and we’ve just got to stay like that.

Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford on Hardy

After his pit stop at the special teams huddle, Hardy continued to go back and forth with teammates on the sideline. The most notable exchange came between him and Dez Bryant, the injured receiver known for his passion.

Fellow defensive linemen such as Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence also tried to settle down Hardy, but to little avail.

“Just like any player, you’re going to take it hard. He’s no different than anybody else,” Crawford said. “We just tell him and assure him that we have his back. This D-line sticks together and we’ve just got to stay like that.”

Owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett supported Hardy, as well. They certainly don’t seem to mind having a passionate guy on the sidelines, even if he’s ranting and raving.

“He’s, of course, one of the real leaders on this team and he earns it,” said Jones, who didn’t see Hardy’s meltdown in real time.

“He earns it with the respect from all of his teammates. That’s the kind of thing that inspires. You watched him warm up out there and he was inspirational nothing but warming up. He was ready to play.

“He’s just getting guys ready to play in my view. I don’t have any issue with him being involved in motivating or pushing in any part of the football team because he plays and walks the walk.”

As Jones alluded to, Hardy’s demeanor and emotions are something that has been praised by coaches and teammates since the day he joined the Cowboys.

But Hardy has also made his fair share of negative headlines. He got into a verbal spat with a teammate in the off-season, sent an ill-advised social media post making light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks during the NFL draft and made questionable comments about Tom Brady’s wife before his first game back from a season-opening four-game suspension.

The Cowboys have been able to look past all of that, however, considering Hardy is one of the elite pass rushers in the league. He had another sack Sunday, tying him for the team lead with three through just two games played.

“In order to be a good football player and a good football team, you have to have passion,” Garrett said. “You have to put it all out there. You have to be completely engaged and completely invested in it.

“If you’ve ever been a football coach or a football player, or ever been around a professional football team, you understand that those things happen. You want the guys who have the passion, the emotion, the enthusiasm for the game — period.”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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