Cowboys Notes: Hardy, Secondary

The Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones are awaiting news regarding the NFL’s oncoming disciplinary action against newly signed defensive end Greg Hardy, who missed almost all of last season because of domestic violence issues. According to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Jones spoke to NFL Network on Wednesday and touched on the subject of Hardy, stating that the team signed Hardy with the belief that he’ll stay out of trouble going forward.

“When the Dallas Cowboys made this decision, we knew there was going to be a ton of awareness and a ton of debate,” said Jones. “That’s just what happens when we get involved. So in that sense, I think that Greg won’t do this again and that’s why we signed him to the team.”

If Jones is right and Hardy is able to clean up his act, the Cowboys should benefit greatly on the field. The 26-year-old Hardy is an elite pass-rushing talent who’s likely to boost a Cowboys defense that was just 21st in the league in sacks last season. Hardy combined for 26 sacks from 2012-13, his last two full seasons, as a member of the Panthers.

Here’s more on Hardy and the Cowboys:

  • David Moore, also of the Dallas Morning News, writes that Hardy will line up at right defensive end for the Cowboys, per head coach Jason Garrett. “From a position standpoint he is a right defensive end for us,’’ said Garrett. “But if you watch him play in Carolina, he plays 3-technique (defensive tackle). He plays the nose tackle. He plays left end. He rushes outside on third down. He rushes inside on third down. He has great versatility as a player, a lot of different skills.”
  • Garrett and the Cowboys are under the assumption that the league will suspend Hardy for some of 2015, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Tim Cowlishaw, who speculates that Hardy might be forced to sit for six games. Garrett indicated that Dallas isn’t tied to Hardy if he doesn’t fit in with the team, saying, “If at any point we don’t like what he’s doing as a player or a person, we can move on without any salary cap consequences.” Garrett went on to state that the Cowboys are “going to approach this on a day-to-day basis.”
  • The Morning News’ Rick Gosselin addressed the Cowboys’ defense, largely the secondary, in a mailbag. Gosselin believes the team’s ‘D’ needs pass-rush help on the interior, a playmaking safety, a cornerback with size and a linebacker. Per Gosselin, Brandon Carr should continue to play cornerback – not move to safety, as a fan asked – and the team should look to add an outside corner via the draft and leave its top cover man, Orlando Scandrick, on the inside.
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