Dallas Up…Now Down
~ Amy Lignor
As long as the NFL is mentioned, there will always be a 50-60% chance that the name ‘Jerry Jones’ will be mentioned along with it. Whether it be a good thing (which hasn’t happened a great deal in Cowboy land, until this past season, of course), or it’s a bad thing (there are too many to name here), Jerry Jones will always earn headlines. And now, this time around, he is buried under scrutiny – both media and fan – as he brings on Defensive End Greg Hardy. Yet another man who has had his share of bad headlines that still haven’t gone away.
Jerry Jones has now become the ‘bad boy’ in the eyes of a certain political leader. Dallas’s Mayor Mike Rawlings, has announced that his beloved team, that he always watches and roots for (at times rooting for them inside the special suite of Jerry Jones), by signing Hardy, has caused him and the city of Dallas major worry. It was a “shot in the gut,” Rawlings stated. Now, you may want to defend Jones and scream bad stuff at the mayor, but basically the guy’s right.
Across the land at this moment, Greg Hardy is not known as a great DE; he is known as the man whose domestic violence incident last year makes him a ‘bad face’ of the NFL. Yet this past Wednesday he signed on the dotted line with Dallas, a one-year, quite hefty $11.3 million deal.
This looks even worse for Jones because he was one of the large voices when all of Ray Rice’s video stuff went down who said that domestic violence was absolutely “intolerable” – and now he has gone out and signed one of the largest offenders.
Jones did what he did best and immediately came out to speak on the subject when it hit his fans’ ears. Brushing the domestic violence talk under the carpet, he kept his comments on the team itself and how much Hardy will help them. God knows they’ll need it considering the RB they needed in order to keep the constant pain and fear of sacks off Romo was let go.
Jones: “This agreement involved an important element of our defensive scheme, specifically the pass rush, at a position that we felt we needed to address this off-season.” He yapped about free agency and how they need to utilize key resources available, but then had the audacity to say that after speaking with Hardy (two days, mind you), that the man is a good person. Jones says the organization studied everything and they still understand the very “serious nature” of Hardy’s crimes. However, Hardy also seems to have a firm understanding of it as well. In other words, forgive, forget, and play football.
Hardy wants to play, this we know. Hardy wants the cash, as does any other football player who wants to find the best deal. But the facts are chilling and even if he became the best player in Dallas, it will not erase what he did. He threatened to kill his girlfriend in 2014, then proceeded to drag her across the floor and toss her onto a couch that just happened to be decorated with assault weaponry. He was convicted in a bench trial, but the charges were ridiculously dismissed when the case was appealed to a jury after the victim failed to show up to court.
The Mayor of Dallas did not mince words about this; Rawlings told reporters: “At some point being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys anytime soon.”
Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of a social activist group (UltraViolet), backed the mayor, stating that this is truly the “latest failure” of the NFL. Hardy has done more than wrong, yet he is being rewarded by the Cowboys to the tune of over eleven-million dollars.
Yes, there is such a thing as forgiveness; yet another thing called redemption. However, thus far, Hardy has shown no signs that he’s looking for either. In fact, even when he attempts an apology in any way, he makes himself sound nothing more than bored with the subject.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stood behind the Cowboys decision…but really, who cares?
In the end, Hardy will be a headline for Jones, but most likely will not reach the top of the headlines. By letting go of his RB and sending him on to the Eagles (their biggest enemies), Jones has opened Romo up to more pain and greater losses. It doesn’t take a ‘seer’ or a ‘mystic’ to say that there is a 99% chance that the Cowboys will end next season badly, sit in their locker room as the Eagles move on to the playoffs, and say…remember when? They were right there. They were on it…they lost it.
Perhaps that $11.3 million could have been used for a player that really mattered when it came to the Cowboys winning, aye? Too late now. Goodbye DeMarco. The Eagles thank you.