This NFL season, there are teams who have had their hopes crushed by their quarterbacks (Texans, 49ers, Bears) and teams who have had their hopes crushed by injuries, like the Dallas Cowboys. Too often we don’t think of what actually goes on inside of an NFL locker room that could serve as detriment to a team’s success.
The new emergence of video in the curious case of Greg Hardy only proves one thing—the Cowboys need to release the talented pass rusher. Today.
For me personally, it all started when Greg Hardy got into it with his special teams coordinator, Joe DeCamillis, after the Cowboys allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown against the Giants earlier in the season.
After his tirade against the coordinator, he was seen on the sideline spatting against an injured Dez Bryant, a quintessential leader on the team. Some say his volatile attitude on the sidelines of that game only provided a glimpse into his nature as a human being: one that does not respect authority and can be a danger to the people around him.
The new video and pictures released on Nov. 6 did not only show that he cannot control his temper against women, but they also supported the notion that he may not be able to control his temper agains people in authority.
Hardy did choose to apologize for his actions via his Twitter account, @ OverlordKraken.
“Just had to say I express my regret 4 what happened in past and I’m Dedicated to being the best person & teammate that I can be but mostly I am Grateful 4 the opportunity to play in NFL #GodBlessHookyStreet.”
The most surprising news for me was not that the pictures were released. After all, they were going to come to light eventually following such a high-profile case. Cowboys owner, CEO and general manager Jerry Jones came out with his own statement, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, after the surfacing of the images, which still puzzles me t o this day.
“While we did not have access to the photos that became public today, we were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident. We have given Greg a second chance. He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career,” Jones said in the statement.
Jones has to let him go, no matter how talented he is. He is a sack-machine, registering 37 sacks through six seasons, highlighted by his 15 sacks in 2013 with the Carolina Panthers.
It is not just his past that has brought the notion that he must be released. It is the fact that he has carried over his same erroneous attitude to this day. It’s simple— Hardy has to go.
First thing’s first. In no way, shape or form am I condoning Hardy’s actions of domestic abuse. What he did is disgusting and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. No man should ever lay his hands on a woman.
But that does not mean that Hardy’s career should come to an end. After originally being convicted by a judge in a bench trial, Hardy’s case was dismissed after the alleged victim, Nicole Holder, continuously failed to make herself available to the court and “the State concluded that, in her absence, it did not have sufficient legal basis upon which to introduce the initial statement she provided to law enforcement,” the prosecutor stated in the dismissal form.
Hardy was completely cleared legally and had the incident expunged from his record, but still paid a heavy price. He missed the final 15 games last season on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, then was suspended 10 games by the NFL to begin the 2015 season. That suspension was eventually reduced to four games.
So after being cleared legally, Hardy missed a total of 19 games for the alleged crime. In my eyes, he paid the price for his actions.
We live in a country where second chances are given everyday. Why should Hardy be held to a different standard? Sure he is an NFL player and should be a role model, but being a role model is not in his job description. His job is to make plays.
The NFL and its general managers are not persecutors.
Persecution is up to the legal system and Hardy’s case was dismissed.
While the circumstances are certainly disturbing and in no way acceptable, Hardy should not be released by the Cowboys. He already paid his dues for what he did and it should not be up to the NFL or Jones to further persecute him.