Jerry Jones: Cowboys “underestimated” impact of Greg Hardy’s year off

Getty Images

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to steer clear of talking about defensive end Greg Hardy, saying he wasn’t going to discuss free agents.

Of course, that lasted all of a few minutes, when he said he wanted to keep linebacker Rolando McClain, making it clear he didn’t just want to talk about the expensive distraction he created last offseason.

Via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Jones said he thinks the “underestimated” the impact of so much time off for Hardy when they signed him to a one-year deal worth nearly $9 million. He had played in one game the previous year, landing on the commissioner’s exempt list after a domestic violence arrest. He was then suspended the first four games of the season.

Hardy managed 6.0 sacks, with just 1.5 of them coming from Thanksgiving on.

“Even though you are a great God-gifted player or an accomplished player, you just lose something that you got to get back to when you are laid off,” Jones said. “I think that we all underestimated the effect of his layoff from playing. I’m not going to get into, obviously [his] off the field issues would have impacted anybody breathing. I think that was impactful. And then the fact that we weren’t winning.

“You seem to get better seasons out of players when you are on a winning streak then when you are having trouble winning and losing. I think that had an impact. If we had been sitting there with 10 or 11 wins, then Hardy or others could have had a better year.”

Of course, Hardy was dubbed a “real leader” by Jones early in the season, which was easier when the team was not in the tank and he was getting the occasional sack. But production comes in fits and starts for Hardy anyway.

He has 40.0 career sacks in 75 games, and it’s worth remembering that 7.0 of the sacks came in his final two games of 2013, when he was in the salary drive that netted him the franchise tag from the Panthers the following season. Otherwise, 33.0 sacks in 73 games is a pretty pedestrian rate, and it sounds like the Cowboys aren’t willing to put up with the attendant headaches if they don’t come with production.

18 responses to “Jerry Jones: Cowboys “underestimated” impact of Greg Hardy’s year off

  1. “You seem to get better seasons out of players when you are on a winning streak then when you are having trouble winning and losing. I think that had an impact.”

    Nice of him to talk about Romo

  2. Honestly, I don’t think the time off hurt his play. The Dallas defense just isn’t as good as Carolina’s plus the cowboys were always playing from behind.

    This is all about the off field issues, which Jones was aware of and chose to ignore going into last season.

  3. Of course, Hardy was dubbed a “real leader” by Jones early in the season,
    ===================================

    Jerry talks about all his players in glowing terms. How many former and current Cowboys have you ever seen with a bad thing to say about him? he may baby some too much, but he treats them all like men and with respect, even if they are a less than good human being.

  4. “If we had been sitting there with 10 or 11 wins, then Hardy or others could have had a better year.”

    Circular Reasoning much, Mr Jones?

    Leaders can be be ‘good leaders’, they can also be ‘bad leaders’ and I believe that Hardy, like TO, was a ‘bad leader’ last season.

  5. He has 40 sacks in 73 games. You don’t get to change the number to 33 because that fits better in your attempt to dismiss his relevance as a player. The number is 40 and off top of my head I don’t there are many others players with 40 sacks in last 73 games.

  6. I wonder what Hardy’s attitude will be when the draft rolls around and he hasn’t received a single contract offer…………

  7. O how I wish this was the only real problem this team has. This team has been and is destine for failure. Unfortunatly the team is built to fail starting at the top. If you see this team as a potential Super Bowl contender you are the classic example of “out of touch with reality dreamer” or a drug user.

  8. “You seem to get better seasons out of players when you are on a winning streak then when you are having trouble winning and losing.”……………….DUH !!!

  9. Jones’s thought that players play better as a result of team’s winning is kind of backwards. Teams win because of players playing better and making plays. Lousy performance leads to losing, not the other way around.

  10. Hardy will be working at Hardee’s (nothing wrong with it) butt quite a difference in wages.

Leave a Reply