Cowboys Nation was officially introduced to Greg Hardy on Tuesday this week. While Hardy was light hearted, his comments created a firestorm across mainstream media. Most notably, the scathing article by Christine Brennan with USA Today Sports has drawn a great deal of attention.
While I’m not delving into her article, Hardy’s approach was not the best approach to remove his name out of the mainstream. Will this microscope on Greg Hardy affect his play on the field?
I truly do not believe so, even though that will be the perception if he doesn’t make a noticeable impact on Sunday. Many fans feel Hardy is going to make an immediate impact on the field.
Are those expectations reasonable?
Unfortunately, they probably aren’t. The Cowboys need him to make a huge impact in an attempt to slow down the vaunted Patriots offense. But will he be able to do it while playing around twenty plays on defense?
It’s not out of the question, but expectations should be tempered when it comes to him being a dominant player in his first regular season game in over thirteen months.
While having realistic expectations, there is no denying how disruptive he can be on the Defensive Line.
In his last full season (2013), Hardy managed a gaudy 15 sacks, 27 hits, and 45 hurries. He also had three games where he tallied three or more sacks. Hardy has the potential to really make a difference for the Dallas Cowboys this season.
While Hardy will get his sacks, we may have to wait for the Defensive Line to be at full strength after the bye. He may have some rust, and the New England Patriots will account for him whenever he’s on the field.
That could possibly be his best contribution, especially if it allows Tyrone Crawford to not see as many double teams.
Whether or not his play is a major factor in the outcome of the game, we’ll definitely hear about Greg Hardy in the national media come Monday.