Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys continue to support Greg Hardy, saying he deserves second chance

Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, left, defending Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford’s pass, had a sack and three tackles Sunday but also committed two penalties and appeared winded at times.
Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, left, defending Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford’s pass, had a sack and three tackles Sunday but also committed two penalties and appeared winded at times. AP

The Cowboys continued to throw their support behind Greg Hardy on Sunday, two days after Deadspin released photos of injuries to Hardy’s ex-girlfriend.

“I’ll just say this one thing about the Greg Hardy situation: We as an organization, we don’t condone domestic violence,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We take the issue very, very seriously. We knew when we signed Greg Hardy there would be some criticism that came with that. We laid out expectations for Greg right from the start. We decided that we were going to give him a second chance, but in doing so, the expectations and the standards that we set would be very clear to him -- how he, and really everybody else, is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field. And those expectations and those standards are very clear to him. We decided to give him a second chance. He’s worked hard for our football team up to this point. He knows what the expectations and standards are, and we’re going to hold him accountable to those.”

The Cowboys signed the controversial defensive end to an incentive-laden deal worth up to $13.1 million in March before the league suspended Hardy.

He missed all but one game last season after being arrested and charged with attacking Nicole Holder. A judge in Mecklenburg County, N.C., officially expunged the charges Thursday.

But criticism of Hardy and the Cowboys was renewed Friday when Deadspin released a series of photos and a story detailing the injuries suffered by Holder in the May 2014 incident.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who issued a statement Friday, reiterated his support of Hardy after the game.

“Greg has a commitment to us,” Jones said. “He has a commitment to do the right thing. We expect him to do the right thing. He has a commitment to his teammates and our team. The way it’s set up in the NFL, relative to behavior, and in fact we wanted to give Greg a second chance. And you lose that in the NFL if you don’t do the right things. If he will do the right things, if he will take advantage of the opportunities that he has got there and this second chance, then we’ll see how it goes.”

Hardy did not talk after the game, but Saturday on Twitter, he expressed regret for “past” incidents.

Hardy had three tackles and a sack that ended a Philadelphia drive late in the third quarter. He also had an offsides penalty and a personal foul.

Eagles tackle Lane Johnson had some biting words about Hardy after the game.

“I felt like I faced better than him,” Johnson said via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He’s a guy who, when things are going good, he’s great. When things aren’t going good, he’ll shut it down.”

Johnson said Hardy appeared “out of it.”

“Anytime I got a chance to put a little extra mustard on a block, I tried,” Johnson said. “He wasn’t all that emotional in the game. I don’t know if the stuff got to him on the news, but he seemed out of it a little bit.”

 

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