Dallas Cowboys

Stephen Jones: Cowboys were done with Greg Hardy when season ended

Defensive end Greg Hardy may have blown his last chance to play in the NFL after being fired by the Dallas Cowboys.
Defensive end Greg Hardy may have blown his last chance to play in the NFL after being fired by the Dallas Cowboys. Special to the Star-Telegram

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t make an official public statement until last week when owner Jerry Jones announced during the 2016 NFL Draft that they had moved on from Greg Hardy.

The news hardly came as a surprise as the team had distanced themselves from Hardy since the end of the 2015 season.

They just hadn’t announced that Hardy wouldn’t be re-signed.

But, per vice president Stephen Jones, they Cowboys knew they were done with Hardy as soon as the season was over.

“We did. We did,” Stephen Jones said.

He said the Cowboys tried to put the best infrastructure in place for Hardy. But things didn’t work out.

“I think one of the most important things is when you take a chance with a player, if you see it’s not working, it’s time to move on,” he said. “We gave it its due in terms of a year here, and we just felt like at the end of the day, it wasn’t the right fit.”

Hardy didn’t live up to expectations on or off the field in 2015. He was brought in to improve the pass rush, but ended up with only six sacks, including two the final eight games.

Meanwhile, he drew the ire of coach Jason Garrett for frequent tardiness and inappropriate statements on social media and in the media. He was also considered a bad influence on the younger players such as Gregory and Lawrence.

The Cowboys took a chance on Hardy after he missed 15 games as a member of the Carolina Panthers in 2014 after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list because of a May 2014 domestic violence incident.

He also missed the first four games with the Cowboys for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Hardy didn’t help himself in a recent interview on ESPN when he said he was innocent of charges of domestic violence despite originally being convicted of the crime by judge. He asked for a jury trial and only got off because the victim failed to cooperate with the prosecution after allegedly being paid off.

Now not only have the Cowboys closed the door on Hardy but seemingly so has the NFL. No team has yet to offer him a contract after he blew what might have been his last chance with the Cowboys.

“Greg had a great start here and then he went through a lot, I do know that,” Stephen Jones said. “He’s been through a lot and you just never know how that is going to affect somebody. We wish him nothing but the best, getting his hands around everything in his life and hopefully getting in a place where he can be successful in whatever he chooses to do.”