Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones backs off Greg Hardy extension talk, but won’t single him out for being tardy

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) plays the air guitar to the chagrin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during a break in the fourth quarter as the Buccaneers beat the Cowboys 10-6 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) plays the air guitar to the chagrin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans during a break in the fourth quarter as the Buccaneers beat the Cowboys 10-6 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Star-Telegram

IRVING _ Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would not discuss about whether defensive end Greg Hardy was late for meetings last week or if he got fined for it because he doesn’t want to “single him out”.

Jones said a number of players get fined every week so that’s been going on.

Jones backed off of talk of being ready to give Hardy a contract extension to return to the Cowboys in 2016 and beyond.

Jones said a heavily-scrutinized Hardy, who has had a growing list of transgressions since joining the team in March amid the controversy of a domestic violence incident with a former girlfriend, must meet certain expectations before anything further is discussed.

Jones made the comments on his radio show on 105.3 FM The Fan Tuesday morning.

He carefully sidetracked direct questions about Hardy being tardy and missing the majority of team meetings last Thursday, just three days before the 10-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneeers.

“Candidly, directly, I haven’t seen the report on who got fined last week and who didn’t, regarding attendance or regarding being on time,” Jones said. “It’s standard operating procedure for all clubs in the NFL. You have a fine sheet. It’s at the discretion of the coach.

“But this is pro football, and the way if people’s phone goes off in the meeting, if they’re late for a meeting, if they don’t come to a meeting, there is a fine list and we’ve had players fined, numerous players fined, 24-25 years out there. That has been going on. So, I don’t want to single him out because I couldn’t tell you if last week we had four or five other people late that might get fines. Sometimes those fines, it’ll be addressed, but those fines won’t follow for a couple of weeks.”

The missed meetings had no impact on Hardy’s playing time against the Buccaneers. Hardy started at right defensive end Sunday. He played 60 of 71 snaps, making one tackle and recording no sacks.

Still, Hardy’s list of distractions seems to be growing.

Hardy’s late arrival Thursday came a day after he briefly changed his Twitter profile claiming his innocence in a domestic violence incident in May 2014. He was initially found guilty by North Carolina judge, but then asked for a jury trial. Charges were eventually dropped because his ex-girlfriend refused to cooperate with the district attorney.

Hardy, however, was suspended for the first four games of the season because of the incident for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Coach Jason Garrett acknowledged last week he talked to Hardy about his Twitter bio. The Cowboys have had to address at least four off-field incidents with Hardy since they signed him last spring.

The Cowboys remain in support of Hardy being on the team.

But a commitment for the future is not a resolute as it was just a month ago when Jones and vice-president Stephen Jones said signing Hardy to a contract extension was a real possibility.

"When we initially signed, talked to him, asked him to join the team, it was not only with the idea of the short term but a long-term purview," Jones said on Oct. 27. "He's, relatively speaking, a young player, and he certainly has the kinds of skills and impact that we want to look to the future with with the Cowboys."

Dallas Cowboys players, led by Randy Gregory, break out into song while serving lunch plates at the Fort Worth Salvation Army center.

When asked about a contract extension for Hardy on Tuesday, Jones spoke hypothetically.

“Greg knows what’s expected and nobody is more aware of the scrutiny and nobody is more aware, now ever more so, of what we expect of him,” Jones said. “The good news is we go forward. We see if we get what’s expected of him, which I fully anticipate you would get. But we see how and what’s expected of him and we go from there.

“We don’t, and you know this, just the nature of this one, we don’t as a practice, discuss detail of extending or not extending. I’ll give an indication, but that’s about it. So we’ll leave it for that. I have no reason to think that Greg won’t do what’s expected of him throughout the year.”

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram