Greg Hardy is officially a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Yahoo has reported that the former defensive end of the Carolina Panthers has inked a one-year agreement with the Cowboys. Hardy is a young, talented player, but he is troubled. Not everyone is pleased with the signing.
Last season was a dark one for the NFL. Despite its usual success, including the most watched Super Bowl in television history, scandals involving players and deflated footballs were huge distractions. Greg Hardy was one of the poster children for what’s wrong with the NFL.
Prior to last season, a judge in North Carolina found Hardy guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder.
It was his well-documented assault case that made him a bad player to have on your team. Hardy did indeed play the first game of 2014, but after a change of heart from Carolina owner Jerry Richardson, Hardy was sat down and subsequently placed on the NFL’s Exempt List. The case was dismissed according to a USA Today report.
Just because he is cleared from all charges, avoiding jail time, it does not mean everybody wants him on the team.
Perhaps the most prominent of Greg Hardy detractors is Dallas’ mayor Mike Rawlings. According to ESPN Dallas, Rawlings takes umbrage with the signing of the controversial DE.
Adding Hardy was perceived as “a shot in the gut,” Rawlings told reporters. The long-time Cowboys fan was dismayed by the $11.3 million Hardy stands to make if he avoids a league suspension and reaches certain season achievements. Hardy has 34 sacks in 63 games played, but is his talent worth the risk?
Mayor Rawlings does not believe that his favorite team should have signed him.
“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play. But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”
Mike Rawlings is not alone with his sentiments. Dale Hansen, a Dallas-based sportscaster lambasted the signing on one of his telecasts, according to New York Daily News.
“I don’t care how good he is. I don’t care if the Cowboys made a great deal. And I absolutely don’t care about the argument so many of you make that what he does off the field just doesn’t matter if he can help you win on the field.”
Hansen goes on to make some serious points. The Dallas Cowboys clearly chose talent over the peace of minds of many who buys tickets, jerseys and other memorabilia. They were not the only team interested in Hardy. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also brought him in for a visit.
Is Greg Hardy’s talent worthy of a second chance in the NFL? Absolutely! But now is too soon. The wounds are still sore and the details of his evening with his ex-girlfriend is murky and repugnant. If the collection of stories have any accuracy, Hardy stands out as the worse of the league’s problem children since the Michael Vick story.
Hardy is deserving of redemption. He gets his opportunity with a Dallas Cowboys’ team that needed a player to harass opposing quarterbacks. If he excels, the fans may cheer him. But if you ask Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings or sportscaster Dale Hansen, Greg Hardy is not a wanted man.
[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]