It was always a risk signing Greg Hardy for the Dallas Cowboys, and despite his pretty good on-field production, it seems his behavior off of it is the driving force behind the current tendency to not sign him on for another season or more.
Hardy, who missed all of the 2014 season but for one game because of his domestic violence chargers (although eventually it didn’t go to court), signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys which at its peak value was worth $11.3 million including bonuses, but most of it was a $9.25 million roster bonus.
Hardy played in 12 games after a four game suspension ended, finishing with six sacks and one forced fumble in an overall good season for him in the defensive line, but like everything for the Cowboys last season (going 4-12 a year after winning the NFC East), it felt disappointing. And there were elements off the field possibly contributing to his poor performances.
Hardy reportedly spent a lot of time partying last season and wasn’t in great shape compared to what he was in 2013, when he finished with 15 sacks, made the Pro Bowl and two second-team All-NFL selections. He was late or completely missed team meetings and some of his words about the incident (with photos being released) or his behavior towards teammates made a few people scratch their heads as to why he isn’t punished, but then they remembered it’s Jerry Jones running the team, which makes a lot of sense.
Being a headache or not, Hardy will be only 28 in the summer, and if he does get himself in shape should still be one of the most coveted free agents on the market. He’s a productive defensive end who deserves double team attention from the offensive line when he’s playing. Distraction or not, he’s still a very good football player, which enough teams care about and are willing to forget about the bad stuff for. Maybe he stays with the Cowboys with some lines being drawn in the sand to make things clear. Right now though, it seems his NFL career will continue somewhere else.