The Dallas Cowboys need chemistry, not tarnished talent

Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) leaves the field following a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) leaves the field following a game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys gambled on a huge talent with character concerns last year and it burned them. Now it’s time for high character players and building great team chemistry.

Fans of the Dallas Cowboys and the media can debate at length about everything that went wrong during the 2015 NFL season. It is a daunting task trying to keep up with everything that went wrong leading to a 4-12 season, the worst in more than two decades. The one thing that most people can agree on is that there was a rift affecting team chemistry in terms of ex-Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.

On one hand it is hard to fault team owner Jerry Jones for bringing the embattled Hardy into the mix last season following the success of the 2014 campaign. After all, nobody expected that squad — especially the defense — to have anywhere near the level of success they achieved.

The team was able to reach the divisional round of the playoffs without a consistent edge player getting to the quarterback. So, even with Hardy’s questionable past and domestic violence charge following him at every step, he was the perfect fit in Dallas on paper.

As all fans know, ballgames are not won on paper. Ballgames are won by squads coming together as a 53 man cohesive unit that bands together for one goal. Hardy never embodied that in Dallas. Head coach Jason Garrett was critical behind the scenes of not only Hardy’s demeanor off the field, but his production on it.

Many reports after the season indicate that Hardy was a bad influence on younger players on the defensive line such as defensive ends Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. Coincidentally both players are now facing suspension to start the 2016 season.

Following the season, and countless reports of the rift, Garrett only had one thing to say about the troubled sack-man.

"“Greg Hardy’s a free agent.” — Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told Pro Football Talk"

There have been some Dallas Cowboys fans out there recently pounding the war drums for Hardy’s return to the club based on the defensive line lacking a true superstar pass rusher. The front office is standing by their head coach and the team looks headed back to the recipe that Garrett concocted prior to 2015: High character players from college mixed with the high character veterans on the current squad.

Sometimes character and effort can out perform talent on the field. When your teammates are willing to put it all on the line for you, and you for them, special things happen in sports. Chemistry is the most dangerous aspect of a good football team. It’s something that can’t be measured, and it’s something that can’t be game-planned against. A team with good chemistry can defy all odds and make history.

Enter team captains. Exit talented players with enough baggage to fill a jumbo jet.

It’s evident the team realizes their mistake in straying from a successful formula and went back to it in the 2015 NFL draft. The team selected running back Ezekiel Elliott, Linebacker Jaylon Smith, defensive end Charles Tapper, and quarterback Dak Prescott whom all had leadership rolls on their college teams. In addition the team has allowed offensive guard Ronald Leary to seek a trade, realizing the last thing the team needs is another distraction revolving around money and playing time.

Jones has shown in the past that he will gamble on talent following a successful season going after free agents such as wide receivers Joey Galloway and Terrell Owens. You can decide if those were successful signings for yourself.

I believe Jason Garrett has earned the opportunity to attempt and win a championship his way; with a team full of high character teammates that will do all they can to finish the fight!

Next: Five wonders as the Cowboys head into June

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