Greg Hardy Could Face Punishment From NFL If Dallas Cowboys Don’t Act

Greg Hardy may not receive any repercussions from a 2014 domestic violence incident from the Dallas Cowboys, but will the NFL step in and punish the player after Deadspin released the photographs of the victim from the police report?

While there is no precedent for a second punishment for a single offense, it could be a power NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell possesses, according to a NBC Sports report from February 2015. The report – penned by Mike Florio – recalled how an arbitrator ruled on Goodell’s powers, specifically those involving the Commissioner-Exempt list.

“The [Adrian] Peterson ruling likely won’t get [Greg] Hardy reinstated; last year, arbitrator Shayam Das found that the Commissioner has the authority to keep a player on the Commissioner-Exempt [list] even after the player’s legal case has ended.”

Could Goodell use the NFL personal conduct policy to further punish Greg Hardy? It’s possible because the release of the photos could damage the perception and reputation of the league.

In announcing the new conduct policy in 2014, the NFL called it an enhanced version that was “significantly more robust” to meet the changing demands of their fans and constituent clubs, according to an article on The policy also states the goals of the league with the revised policy.

“Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL… In order to uphold our high standards, when violations of this Personal Conduct Policy do occur, appropriate disciplinary action must follow.”

With a strong policy in place and public perception to back him, will Roger Goodell put Greg Hardy on the Commissioner-Exempt list yet again? Only time will tell.

The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones have not signaled that the organization will punish Greg Hardy after the release of the photos. Executive Vice President and chair of The NFL Foundation Charlotte Jones Anderson – Jones’ daughter – is a member of the new league Conduct Committee that is charged with reviewing the policy and recommending appropriate changes. Her voice is an important one league-wide, but she has remained silent since Friday.

Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones [Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images]
The response to the photos released by Deadspin has been intense. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that Greg Hardy should never play another down in the NFL, while the New York Daily News wrote that the decision to retain Greg Hardy shows that the Dallas Cowboys’ owner is only worried about winning. Christine Brennan wrote in the USA Today that the it shouldn’t have taken the release of the photos to punish Greg Hardy.

“Let’s hope the release of these photos will do what the NFL could not do: punish [Greg] Hardy as he should be punished, by losing his career for good. Why does it take pictures to wake us up to what we already should have realized?”

ESPN Ian O’Connor took it to another level, calling on fans and sponsors to attack Jerry Jones where it hurts the NFL owner the most: his wallet. Calling him “the worst owner in the post-Donald Sterling world,” Connor called upon Cowboy sponsors to reconsider their future funding.

“The right-minded Cowboys fans and sponsors such as AT&T and American Airlines have to let Jones know he has gone too far this time and needs to release [Greg] Hardy immediately… They need to warn Jones they will stop giving him their business unless he fields a team that offers no sanctuary for a man such as Greg Hardy.”

Do you think the NFL will act to suspend or ban Greg Hardy before Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images]

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