Greg Hardy hadn’t had a solo sack in more than a month. He was held largely in check in recent weeks, credited by the coaches with only seven tackles the previous four games.
But Hardy made his presence felt Sunday at Lambeau Field. He sacked Aaron Rodgers on a critical third down in the third quarter, forcing the Green Bay Packers to punt on the series after the Dallas Cowboys had pulled to within 14-7.
It marked Hardy’s first full sack since Nov. 8. (He had been credited with a half-sack three weeks ago at Miami.) Hardy finished the game credited with six tackles, the most since his season-high seven against Seattle in Week 8.
That didn’t matter to Hardy, though.
“A loss is a loss,” said Hardy, who spoke with reporters for the first time since he faced his former team, the Carolina Panthers, on Thanksgiving. “When you lose, it’s never good no matter what the stats are.
“If I had to put this loss on one thing, I would say that we didn’t work harder than them; we didn’t play harder than them and we didn’t prepare harder than them. Period.”
Asked if the Cowboys got enough pressure on Rodgers, who was sacked twice and hit four times, Hardy replied: “You can never get enough pressure. If we had 100 percent pressure, that’s not enough pressure for us. It’s a D-line thing.”
Hardy also isn’t worried about the ‘writing on the wall’ with the Cowboys essentially being eliminated from the postseason picture with three games left.
As Hardy said, “I don’t look at any writing, really. Like I can’t read. Wonderful education at a private school went completely to waste. We just put up blinders, man. Put them up here, and you’ve got to keep going straight. That’s the only way to the rest of the season to keep the mindset in this kind of situation, this circumstance.”
For Hardy, there are financial incentives to keep him motivated the rest of the way, too. He needs 2.5 more sacks to reach a $500,000 incentive in his contract that rewards him once he reaches eight sacks. He can earn more if he reaches 10 sacks, 12 sacks and 14 sacks.