While many NFL observers have criticized Greg Hardy for his sideline outburst over the weekend – and the Cowboys for condoning it – Dallas owner Jerry Jones is doubling down on his support for the defensive end. According to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter), Jones repeated today what his son Stephen Jones said yesterday, telling 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that the Cowboys would like to extend Hardy beyond this season.
Hardy, 27, was coming off nearly a year-long absence in 2014 this offseason, and also saw his market affected by a looming suspension. As such, the Cowboys were able to ink him to a modest one-year deal which was heavy on per-game roster bonuses and performance incentives. Now that Hardy is off to a strong start, with three sacks in his first two games, it sounds like Dallas wants to ensure he sticks around beyond 2015.
Still, while Hardy has impressed on the field, it’s fair to question why the Cowboys would talk about an extension after observing his behavior off the field — or, as was the case on Sunday, along the side of the field. It’s one thing for an established veteran to express frustration toward a teammate or coach during a game, but for a player like Hardy – who is coming off a suspension for an alleged domestic incident, is playing for a new team, and has repeatedly exhibited questionable judgment – it’s not exactly a great look.
Jerry and Stephen Jones may be publicly supporting the idea of an extension for Hardy, but I’d be pretty surprised if they actually got something done with the pass rusher in the near future. Given all the headlines Hardy has made in his first few weeks back from his suspension, it makes sense to be careful and patient, since it’s anyone’s guess how the next couple months will play out.
If the Cowboys still want to extend Hardy at season’s end, teams will surely proceed with caution in free agency. The ex-Panther, meanwhile, would likely take into consideration the support given to him by the Joneses and the Cowboys organization throughout the year