Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was quick to scold defensive end Greg Hardy for a regrettable first interview with his local media, after Hardy made a number of at least unfortunately phrased if not completely tone-deaf remarks.
But such that Hardy was going to listen to his coach and stop saying silly things, he might not worry about it now, since owner Jerry Jones came out hard against the media that made such a big deal about it.
“Let’s look at it,” Jones said during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News. “Does anybody really think what he was really alluding to in saying my guns are going to be blazing? I don’t know that this is the case, but when you see players and interview players, more often than not, they’re saying what their coach has just been saying to them all week. It’s a theme. This week we’re going to circle the wagons, this week we’re going to do this, this week we’re going to do that.
“I want everybody to understand that I do understand the sensitivity that’s going on, but did anybody think this wasn’t going to be the case when he came back for the first ballgame, that this wasn’t going to be a featured point by the country? So the hand-writing was on the wall.”
It might not have been if Hardy had been a bit low-key, or shown something resembling remorse for the domestic violence arrest that cost him more than a year of football and millions in free agency, in addition to the civil settlement that preceded the criminal case in Charlotte being thrown out. But going back to his days with the Panthers, Hardy’s default stance is to be flip and dismissive, never copping to anything stronger than being a “distraction” and then only grudgingly so. Even when he was in court, he had a strange exchange with a prosecutor over whether champagne was alcohol.
He’s never taken this situation seriously.
“Here’s the deal, unless he looks like he’s contrite, unless he looks like he is just absolutely whipped, and really obviously sorry for what his situation, he’s going to get criticized,” Jones said. “We all know that. But he was in a football setting. Those questions that were being asked of him, the people who were asking those questions, those were not work place. We know some things are out of order if an attorney is talking to you or a sales person is talking to you and they’re the opposite sex. We know some things in today’s society that is behavior that we don’t have today. We know that.”
Jones then went into a rambling defense of the remarks about Tom Brady’s wife, invoking Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Which makes sense, since he made his own vaguely creepy remarks about Gisele Bundchen.
“When you talked about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, you talked about how pretty she was,” Jones said. “Nobody thought that you were being disrespectful of women or the workplace.”
Jones would go on to admit that his decision to bring Hardy in was football-driven. But when he was signing the Pro Bowl pass-rusher, he sent his daughter out to make sure he struck the appropriate note of concern about signing a guy accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend and throwing her into a futon full of guns.
So basically, Jones wants it both ways. He wants to appear sensitive to the subject of domestic violence, while insulating himself and the player he signed behind the safe walls of sports. It’ll work exactly as long as Hardy produces on the field and the Cowboys win, and fans allow it to.