Don’t back down now, Jerry. Sign Greg Hardy to a longterm contract extension and go all-in. Announce it live on Sunday Night Football. Own it. Wear Greg Hardy as your team leader proudly, and also wear it as a scarlet letter.
Today, Deadspin ran a piece that contained photos of the injuries to Nicole Holder, Greg Hardy’s victim in the 2014, along with statements from the investigation. We shouldn’t need some photos of a badly bruised woman to convince us, though, that Greg Hardy is a major league asshole. We shouldn’t have to read about how he got his manager to come in and hold Holder down and try to pretend like she attacked him when calling 9-1-1 that night, before his account fell apart.
If you’ve paid attention, you realize that even though Hardy ended up sitting out 19 games, he got paid for 15 of them last year. And you should realize that some percentage of that money–over $13 million a year ago to sit out–went to paying off the victim for her non-cooperation on appeal, after he had already been convicted at a bench trial based on pretty much the same evidence that Deadspin uncovered today. It was a great business decision by Hardy to pay her off, as he would be sitting in jail right now rather than collecting more money and accolades from Jerry Jones.
But none of that is new. It’s the same stuff that caused the NFL to try to impose a further 10-game suspension as they reviewed the criminal file, even though there was no conviction. So, I hope the Dallas Cowboys organization isn’t gutless and acts like something has now changed. Nothing has changed since they opted to give him a contract, something they were free–but not required–to do once he paid his way out of a conviction.
I know that visual evidence can shock the senses. And as much as we like to think it doesn’t, it matters in public perception. But trust me, this is the same upstanding guy who cleans up his assault weapons in an orderly fashion before police can arrive on the scene, who has come out guns a-blazing with the Cowboys, and gets teammates fired up at games. Double down on him.
The coward’s way out would be to reverse course now with your public comments and support of Hardy, Mr. Jones. Stick with him, because the Greg Hardy who did those things in those pictures and accounts is the same guy you want leading your team on Sunday.