Dallas Cowboys owner/GM/president Jerry Jones would not directly say if the report from Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo that Cowboys’ defensive end Greg Hardy was late for work last week, but it’s apparent he was. And that this is not the first time.
Jones talked around my question on 105.3 The Fan this morning if the report was accurate that Hardy was late for work and missed meetings. He just said that players are fined and there were players fined last week. Or maybe they were fined. Or maybe guys were late. Or not.
More telling in Jones’ weekly appearance on the Shan and RJ Show was how he did not directly answer whether the Cowboys are still on board with wanting to give Hardy a contract extension. It was only a few weeks ago that Jerry and Stephen Jones both said they wanted to give Hardy a long-term deal.
I asked Jerry if he felt the same way today. He talked around it, but did say, “Greg knows what is expected and nobody is more aware of the scrutiny and nobody is more of what we expect of him; if we get what we expect of him, which I fully expect, and then we’ll go from there. We don’t, and you know this, we don’t as a practice discuss the details of extending or not extending. I’ll give an indication, or no. I have no reason to think Greg won’t do what is expected of him.”
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Hardy has handed the Cowboys, and Jerry, an out. Hardy is blowing it.
No longer are the Cowboys overtly committed to give this guy a long-term deal. Greg Hardy has seven games remaining to prove he can play, and be worth the hassle - which he is - to merit a contract extension.
The Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year, $11 million deal in March. If he played well, and was worth it, he would become a free agent then there was a long-term deal to be had, most likely by the Cowboys.
He has four sacks in five games - two in the first game against New England - one forced fumble, and one interception. The Cowboys have not won a game with him but answered countless questions about him.
Can he do nothing but play football, and not be a distraction? He has no control over Deadspin, or what the media says about his past behaviors, but he can control everything else. The best thing he can do is get off Twitter, social media, and do nothing but play football and live a boring life.
He can be on time, and stay awake in meetings. He can be a good player. He can not challenge teammates or coaches on the sidelines thus drawing more attention to himself. He can give all of his teammates and his coaches no reason to answer any questions about him other than his play.
Or maybe he can’t. There is a good chance this is who he is.
These next seven games are Hardy’s life. We are talking about millions of dollars Hardy is blowing by refusing to accept the fact the expectations for him are different. People are looking to crush this guy because of his domestic violence case, so anything he does is a reason to bring it up, particularly when wears his dunce cap that he seemingly is unable to take off.
No team in sports is any better at rolling with bad PR like the Cowboys, and no owner will put up with negative publicity like Jerry. If Hardy blows this, he is truly an idiot.