Defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey did an interview on FOX 4 in Dallas Sunday, and recapped the Cowboys’ disappointing season. Broadcaster Mike Doocy asked the NFLer about his experiences with teammate Greg Hardy, who fought with coaches and had details of his assault arrest published. Mincey, who will be a free agent after the season but said that he would like to stay with the Cowboys, was honest about working with Hardy.

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“You were a defender of Greg Hardy, especially early in the season,” Doocy said. “Do you think in any way that he wore out his welcome in that locker room this year?”

Mincey’s answer, transcribed by SportsDay:

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Well, I wouldn’t say. I was more so—I didn’t look at him like that. He sits right beside me, so he’s welcomed every day, you know what I mean? I have to deal with him, and being that you have to deal with him, I grew accustomed to a misunderstood person and I got to know him a little better than a lot of people did. It was tough. It was tough. You know, you got this guy, who you want to be a leader, and then you got that guy. It was just too much.

Doocy also asked about the tension growing in the locker room, and Mincey tried not to pin the blame on one person:

Yeah it grew. It grew. It definitely grew. I hate it happened — you talk about a team that was so close knit and tight and all of a sudden it was just different. I wouldn’t say that he’s the reason for that happening, but sometimes change, sometimes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You know what I mean? And sometimes with change, the team is different. Regardless of how great this athlete is and regardless of this and that, if they’re not mentally on the same page, you’re not going to get the same results.

When the Cowboys evaluate their roster, Mincey said he knows that the team might not have room for both him and Hardy:

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Yeah, it will be—I think it will be good for the younger guys, which I don’t know how they feel about him personally, I mean I haven’t spoken to them or asked. It would be me or him, you see what I’m saying? It would be either or. It’s hard to have two type of line mentality guys in one room, so it’s tough to figure out who the younger guys are going to follow. Of course they’re going to look up to a guy who’s a prolific player. But I just understand the game, and I know what it takes to win.

Mincey was clearly trying to be diplomatic, given that he wishes to stay in Dallas. But even with all the disclaimers, his answers were still revealing.

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The full interview is below.

[SportsDay]

Photo: AP


Contact the author at samer@deadspin.com.