Dallas Cowboys: Greg Hardy’s 10-Game Suspension Is Excessive


After a two-month investigation into the domestic violence case against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, the league has levied a ten-game suspension against the sixth-year veteran. The suspension is without pay and will most likely bar Hardy from playing for Dallas until their Week Twelve matchup against his old team, the Carolina Panthers.

Hardy has three days to appeal the decision and it is expected he will. Back in May of 2014, the then Panthers’ defensive end was arrested and charged with assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Two months later, a judge found Hardy guilty of those crimes and sentenced him to 18 months probation after suspending a 60-day jail sentence.

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But that decision was set aside in lieu of a jury trial. And that proceeding never happened as all the charges were eventually dropped when Holder refused to cooperate with the district attorney. She apparently received a financial settlement from Hardy.

Still, Hardy remained suspended even after the charges were dropped as the league completed it’s own investigation. Many believed result of that investigation would be a maximum six-game ban as mandated in the league rules. ESPN First Take commentator Stephen A. Smith confirmed as much during a broadcast after the Cowboys’ signed Hardy to a one-year deal in March.

"“…the NFL has rules and regulations in place. It calls for a minimum of a six-game ban for a first-time offender. And a lifetime ban for a second-time offender. The fact that you know have that policy in place to me is why everybody should relax, and be comfortable with the deal (Hardy) just made with the Cowboys.”"

In a public statement, the NFL cited Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Holder in at least four instances. By citing this policy, it allows league to penalize him more than just six games as a first-time offender.

Thus the reason for the 10-game ban against Hardy. And it also means the 26-year old is potentially one strike away from a lifetime suspension.

In my opinion, the NFL should not be playing the role as judge and jury beyond the United States Justice System. Although Hardy was found guilty by a bench judge, he executed his right to be tried by a jury. If the charges are dropped before he can have his day in court, then in the eyes of the law he is innocent.

Yet, in the eyes of the NFL, he’s been found guilty. Even if it’s for violating their Personal Conduct Policy, the fact those charges were dropped should supersede, or at minimum, heavily influence the penalty from the league.

Obviously, the NFL has an image to protect. And one that has been tarnished by the issue of domestic violence as of late. Still, convicting a man that had the charges in question dropped against him in a court of law, is setting a bad precedent.

Now, I am in no way condoning what Hardy did or did not do on that day. And domestic violence is wrong and a major problem, not just in the NFL, but in our society.

But the league wants to send a statement to all it’s players through Hardy’s suspension that domestic violence will not be tolerated. And it certainly needs to send that message. But in my opinion, doing so in a case where the charges were ultimately dropped against the player in question is a major misstep, and just the latest fumble by the NFL.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments section below.

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