Greg Hardy is another failed Jerry Jones gamble
Team chemistry is a crucial aspect of any team sport especially the game of football. One of the most crucial elements of a winning team, chemistry is a critical component missing from the 2015 Dallas Cowboys and it seems to revolve around one player, defensive end Greg Hardy.
There is no question about Hardy’s talent but his poor attitude is cancelling out whatever he does on the field. This season, Hardy has four quarterback sacks and at least that many team-disrupting episodes.
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One would think that a player coming off of what was essentially a 19-game suspension after one of the most public and controversial domestic violence cases in NFL history would put his best foot forward in hopes of rehabilitating his reputation.
But Hardy has done the opposite. His selfish activities have spanned the range from missing almost all of the team’s meetings on Thursday of last week to two different sideline altercations with teammates, one with wide receiver Dez Bryant and another with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (Link) to undermining the authority of a coach when he interrupted special teams’ coach Rich Bisaccia’s sideline huddle with his unit to berate the coach.
Ultimately, Hardy is not proving worth the trouble he brings to the team. Granted, the team’s 7-game losing streak has put almost everyone in the organization on edge but that is another reason why Hardy’s antics are not tolerable.
When a team is struggling, it must develop a bunker mentality and rally around each other. But Hardy seems only concerned with himself.
"Robert Klemko of Monday Morning Quarterback said, “I think the amount of leeway Greg Hardy is getting in Dallas has gone beyond what is typically afforded troubled stars and broached into locker room cancer territory.” Link"
If any organization in professional sports should know how a player could destroy a locker room, it should be the Dallas Cowboys.
Terrell Owens divided the locker room with his own selfish actions which included having to be separated from team leader Jason Witten in a 2008 locker room incident and implying that quarterback Tony Romo threw the ball to Witten more often than he did to Owens because of Romo and Witten’s close friendship. Link
2008 also saw the Cowboys bring in anther troubled player in corner back Adam Jones. Jones had such a long history of off field issues that Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones assigned a body guard to babysit Adam Jones at all times.
But Jones would have a physical altercation with his bodyguard in a Dallas hotel leading to a six-game suspension, which would bring his overall total of suspended games to 22 out of the previous 28. Finally, Dallas released Jones when details emerged of a 2007 shooting outside and Atlanta nightclub in which Jones was alleged to have been a key participant.
The list of locker room cancers Dallas has gambled on could go on forever. There was defensive tackle Tank Johnson who was caught by television cameras on the Cowboys’ bench during the team’s season-ending 44-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles proclaiming, “I’m a free agent!”
Josh Brent had multiple substance abuse incidences before getting into a drunk driving accident in which his friend and teammate Jerry Brown was killed. Yet he was brought back into the Cowboys’ locker room as soon as he was eligible to return to the NFL.
The common thread in each of these examples is Jerry Jones. It is baffling how a man that has made billions of dollars by making shrewd business moves can be so ignorant in regards to the people he brings into his most important business venture, the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones considers himself to be a risk-taker which has paid off for him in business and with the Cowboys but when will he realize that the risks of taking on players that have a repeated history of selfish or even criminal behavior is a poor idea?
The unpredictable nature of an NFL season requires a team be stocked with players capable of banding together in times of success or adversity.
When a season begins to spiral out of control as this season has for Dallas, the character of the team and the individual players is revealed. And what the Dallas Cowboys are seeing is that Greg Hardy’s character is lacking.
"Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News put it best when he said, “we know which camp Hardy’s in. He made it clear fairly early on when he intruded upon Rich Bisaccia’s special teams huddle…when Jerry Jones cited Hardy’s actions as evidence of his leadership, it was pretty much the kind of player-enabling, coach-undercutting you’ve come to expect.” Link"
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Greg Hardy is not worth the trouble he brings to the team. He is not concerned with being a good teammate nor does he show any signs of having learned and matured from his past mistakes.
Hardy is yet another Jerry Jones gamble that does not seem to be paying off. Let’s just hope that Jones’ next gamble is not trying to give Hardy a contract extension.