It was just a couple months ago that the Cowboys were adamant about signing Greg Hardy long-term. Of course, that was when he was playing well, and before the full details of his assault arrest came out, and before he blew up on a coach and teammates on the sidelines, and before it emerged he couldn’t go a week without saying or doing something infuriating. Now? The Cowboys sounds a little less enthused about bringing him back.
“We’re a little early in the game to be bringing final decisions to the table as to whether a player really performed in a way we feel like he should have performed. Should we bring that player back, should we not bring the player back? Those are all things to discuss over the next two to three weeks.”
And what about his behavior off the field in terms of adhering to team rules and being accountable to his teammates?
“That’s the full body of work,” Jones said. “Those are things we will get our hands around when we give the evaluation.”
Hardy’s numbers tailed off over the course of the season, as he recorded 4.5 sacks in his first six games and just 1.5 in his final six. He missed the big incentives in his one-year contract, and ended up earning about $8.8 million.
If the Cowboys don’t bring Hardy back, it’ll largely be based on his play. (It’s the NFL. Nothing off the field matters [save incarceration] as long as you’re talented on it.) But the never-ending headaches Hardy caused make it sound like many won’t be too sad to see him go.
Hardy became such a worry over the last month of the season that the club increased its involvement, providing a more active support staff to check in on him, a source said.
A few teammates who had supported Hardy early began to sour on him late in the season, in part because his perpetual tardiness for team meetings never resulted in a reduction of playing time. Tardiness was also an issue for Hardy with his previous teams.
After Sunday’s final game, Hardy said he’d like to return to Dallas. “I look good in blue and white, let’s be honest.”