It’s a fairly simple math problem.
Any man who can allow himself to physically harm a woman is a piece of shit.
Greg Hardy physically harmed a woman.
Thus, Greg Hardy is a piece of shit.
Say it with me: “Greg Hardy is a piece of shit.”
This is something I have privately felt for several months but publicly refrained from saying. After several private discussions with Cowboys fans who I hadn’t seen say this publicly, I know I’m not alone.
Before I jump too far into this, I want to make something crystal clear and this part is a personal belief of mine. People have stated they’re disappointed that Hardy has never given a public apology. My take on this is that it is very arrogant of people to want a public apology. The victim deserves an apology, you and I do not. For you and I to put ourselves on the level of pretending we deserve an apology when nothing happened to us is total arrogance. Nothing happened to you. Nothing happened to me. We don’t deserve an apology.
As a fan of the Cowboys, we find ourselves defending the team, the front office, the coaching staff, the players, etc, on a daily basis. Every new sunrise seems to bring a new thing that people want to bash the Cowboys for.
I had a friend tell me he was disappointed in the fact that I have gone easy on Hardy publicly. He pointed out to me that, with the following we have with @CowboysNation, we have a responsibility to be honest about this.
He was absolutely correct.
So here you go, here are some of the things I have felt and never publicly said:
When Randy Gregory fell into our lap, I hoped it meant that we could release Greg Hardy although I knew this wouldn’t be the case.
When Greg Hardy made his 9/11 joke in May, I privately hoped his time in Dallas would be over.
I think it’s obvious that Greg Hardy is a person with anger issues, who crossed an uncrossable line on May 12, 2014.
I want the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl, but in my head, I have pictured the words that would be said countless times, “You guys had to have a woman beater on the team to do it”.
I didn’t want that to be the takeaway if we won with him.
I want the takeaway to be about all the years with Tony Romo and Jason Witten and Jason Garrett and Jerry winning without Jimmy (or Jimmy’s players), I want to see the raw emotion we would get from Dez, etc.
I didn’t want any success to be publicly tarnished in the way we know it would be with Hardy on the team.
When I reached out to Hardy and asked him to donate to the airplane banner & Children’s Hospital we were helping to raise money for and he replied and donated, I thought “Okay, maybe he gets it. Maybe this is the start of trying to be the good guy.” So I started trying to positively build him up publicly.
Training Camp started and we saw the videos of Hardy getting along with teammates and fans. We heard stories about him being a leader with the team, pushing teammates to work harder, etc.
Things seemed to be moving in the right direction.
The season started and Hardy’s on-field talent immediately seemed like he might at least be worth the headache. “Maybe now the focus will be on his play”.
And then the game happened against the Giants. Rich Bisaccia. Clipboard. Hardy. Here we go again.
Oh and now pictures from May 2014 have been released.
And here come our instincts again. Defend the team. Defend the front office. Defend the players.
For me, exhausted from all of it, I was done defending Greg Hardy.
I put out 1 statement, spread over 11 tweets:
“All along, my stance has been “I don’t know what happened that night and neither do you”. While the release of pictures gives us a better idea of what happened that night, it doesn’t paint a different picture than what could have been reasonably expected to have been the case. Whatever happened, happened to and between Holder and Hardy. Nothing happened to YOU or ME and I say this specifically because I maintain my stance that Hardy owes us nothing. He doesn’t owe us an apology. My stance still remains that Hardy is a football player who clearly was responsible for a very bad situation in his past. Much like Vick and many others, Hardy went thru the legal process. If you’re mad that he isn’t in prison, then be mad at the people responsible for the case. The Cowboys/NFL have no control over the legal process. Speaking on behalf of the people behind this account, while we have favorite or least favorite players, we root for the Star. As mentioned 2 weeks ago, we will continue to focus more on on-field topics, because that is the entire point of what we do.”
I was ripped for this statement, with people saying I was defending Greg Hardy, despite the words “Hardy… clearly was responsible for a very bad situation in his past.” Somehow me saying I felt he was responsible was me defending him.
This statement caused people of “higher morals” to say some thoughtful things to me, here are just 2 of the highlights:
- “Go buy a gun and kill yourself.”
- “I hope you have a daughter and Hardy rapes and kills her.”
So thank you, to those hundreds of you that replied negatively, and especially those two people, thank you for taking the time to teach me how to be a better person.
Are you ready to see what a difference perspective makes?
Greg Hardy, who had been following @CowboysNation when I made that statement, blocked us after that statement.
I’m guessing Greg Hardy didn’t feel like those words were defending him.
One thing I am completely at a loss over, if you are upset about Greg Hardy playing in the NFL, why aren’t you also upset about:
- Adrian Peterson - who assaulted his own child, still playing
- Ahmad Brooks – facing sexual battery charges, still playing
- Aldon Smith – hit and run, DUI, several prior arrests, still playing
- Sheldon Richardson – recklessly driving at 143 mph to avoid arrest with a 12-year-old child in his car at the time, still playing
- Bruce Miller – charged with domestic battery, still playing
- Letroy Guion – felony firearm charges, still playing
- D’Qwell Jackson - assault charges, still playing
- Chris Johnson – illegally open-carrying a firearm, still playing
- Tim Jennings – DUI, reckless driving, speeding, still playing
- Junior Galette – domestic violence/battery, then signed by Redskins
- Le’Veon Bell – DUI, still playing
- Erin Henderson – DWI, still playing
- Jo-Lonn Dunbar – battery and disorderly conduct, still playing
- Mike Vick – murdered/tortured countless dogs because they couldn’t fight good enough, still playing
- Henry Melton – assault, still playing
- Ben Roethlisberger – accused of sexual assault, still playing
- Marcell Dareus – reckless endangerment, still playing
- Chris Culliver – hit-and-run and rammed a witness’ vehicle, still playing
- Frank Clark – domestic violence, then drafted by Seattle, still playing
I only included situations where the player physically harmed someone (domestic violence, battery, etc, allegedly or otherwise) or could have physically harmed someone (DUI, reckless endangerment, etc, allegedly or otherwise).
I could go on and on with this list. I could continue typing that list for hours, as the San Diego Union-Tribune has an easily accessible log of 809 NFL player arrests. (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/nfl/arrests-database/)
While many people will talk about Hardy not spending time in prison, in comparison to a situation like Vick, the legal system and the NFL are 2 completely separate things, so let's treat them as such.
The list I posted should be enough for you to realize that if you’re only upset about Hardy playing in the NFL, you’re missing a larger problem.
Personally, I think Greg Hardy is an absolute piece of shit and I think the majority of the names on the list above are also pieces of shit.
Now, I ask you, if you’re only talking about Greg Hardy, why aren’t you talking about all the people on that list? Do you not care about their victims/potential victims? I sure do.
I would hope you care as much about every victim equally and not care about 1 just because of a uniform and the headlines that come along with being negative about the Cowboys.
I promise you, if you make this campaign about all the scum in the league, I’ll be screaming the loudest in agreement with you. When you look like you only care about 1 guy it makes you look like you only care about 1 victim.
Let that sink in.
If you’re only talking about 1 guy, it makes you look like you only care about 1 of the victims, and that’s a bad, hypocritical look to have.
Speaking to Cowboys fans:
I understand your conundrum. We grew up rooting for the Star. We’ve spent years defending the Star. The daily barrage of criticism to Romo or the Cowboys, etc has created an instinct that makes us feel like we have to defend EVERYTHING. We don’t.
It is ok to root for the Star and still say Greg Hardy is a piece of shit.
Will It Be The Cowboys, Or Another Team, Who Pays Byron Jones After 2019?
After having his fifth year option exercised for the 2019 season, cornerback Byron Jones enters a contract year this Fall.
Jones inarguably had the best year of his career in 2018: earning not only his first Pro Bowl selection but also Second Team All Pro honors for his performance. Doing it all without an impressive stat sheet, Jones was able to let his film speak for itself throughout most of the year, and he became the number one cornerback we'd all hoped he could be when the Cowboys decided to take the freakishly athletic defensive back in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
This contract year is quite unique for Byron Jones, however. Next offseason the Cowboys will be forced to re-sign and extend just about all of their key contributors on both sides of the ball. DeMarcus Lawrence already got his contract, but Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and others still await their deals. Deals which the front office has all-but explicitly promised will come.
This leaves Jones, the former first round pick and now former All Pro, generally considered to be the odd man out. So while 2019 is a contract year for Byron Jones, he may be earning himself a contract from a completely different team.
Jones has had an interesting road to this contract season. One which would be a shame for the Cowboys to waste. Moving between cornerback and safety during the first three years of his career, Jones fell out of the coaches' good graces while playing out of his most natural position. Under Kris Richard's new regime, though, Jones had his best season to date. He looked to finally be comfortable in his role, and was now playing for a coach who believed he could be a special player.
Now that Byron Jones has found his place in the Cowboys defense, and has earned his way into conversations with the league's top cornerbacks, he's likely priced himself out of the Cowboys' future plans.
It's funny how that works out. Of course, Jones should go get paid, and I'd never fault a guy for maximizing his value on the market. But there's a good chance the Cowboys make the mistake of allowing a premier cornerback to walk out of their building next offseason. But if they want to retain players like Elliott and Cooper, they may not have any other choice.
Will 2019 be the Storybook Ending to Jason Witten’s Hall of Fame Career?
It's old news now, but Jason Witten will suit up for the Dallas Cowboys once again in 2019. After less than a year in retirement, he will return to the field with the hopes of chasing down that ever elusive Super Bowl ring that has eluded him, and the Cowboys, for nearly two decades. If successful, it would be the storybook ending to an impressive Hall of Fame career.
I may be in the minority here, but I actually wasn't too excited to hear Jason Witten was going to end his retirement and rejoin the Dallas Cowboys. I thought he retired at the right time last year, going out on his terms instead of letting father time force him out. He definitely didn't have anything else to prove on the field, but sometimes hunger gets the best of us all.
That's what Jason Witten is. He's hungry! He's not stupid. He's looked this Dallas Cowboys roster over and sees just how talented it is from top to bottom. He knows this team has a real shot at reaching the promised land this year, adding yet another Super Bowl trophy to their collection. He wanted in, and rightfully so.
Witten may not have a full tank of gas anymore, but he's got enough left to help get this team to their desired destination. Despite my hesitation at first, I'm really excited to have him back in uniform. I'm really looking forward to seeing him back in action now, but more importantly having him on hand to mentor these younger players around him.
Most importantly though, I'm really hoping the 2019 season can be the storybook ending he deserves. He's been such an important ambassador to the NFL throughout his career, both on and off the field. What better way to end such a decorated career than with a little jewelry to put on his finger?
The 11 time Pro Bowler still holds a lot of records in the NFL and with the Dallas Cowboys, despite not playing last season. I'll let you look those up for yourself if you want, but the impact he has had on the game throughout his career is undeniable, and should continue to be so. The Cowboys or Witten wouldn't have reunited if either thought that wasn't the case anymore.
I know many of you may be thinking I'm probably reaching little to suggest this 2019 Dallas Cowboys team has a chance at going all the way this year, but I don't think so. This is a team with Super Bowl aspirations and the roster to do it.
The Cowboys already had a championship caliber defense last season and they're even better now after making a few upgrades. This alone will make them a much more dangerous team this year, but they're not slouches on the offensive side of the ball either.
The offense was good last season after making the Amari Cooper trade, but should be able to take the next step this year. They only lost Cole Beasley, but replaced him with Randall Cobb, who has a chance to be even better if he can stay healthy. Then if you throw in the addition of Jason Witten and the development of a few players, this is looking more and more like one of the more dangerous offenses in the NFL.
Maybe, just maybe, this is the team that can finally get the Dallas Cowboys back to the Super Bowl and help Jason Witten end his Hall of Fame career in a storybook like manner. Hello Hollywood! You've got a blockbuster movie in the making.
Do you think Jason Witten can end his career in a storybook like manner?
Travis Frederick’s Return Named Cowboys Biggest Reason For Excitement
Overall, Cowboys Nation feels to be in a positive mood during this year's offseason. Despite early angst over lack of action at the start of free agency, and concern over the Cowboys' draft strategy, most within the fan base seem to have high, yet realistic, hopes for the 2019 season.
Most seem to believe the NFC East will be a two team race, with the last two champions battling for the crown once again down the stretch of the season. Others can see the potential for a dark-horse candidate in Washington, but still believe the Cowboys roster has the edge.
So while Cowboys fans may not think they need a singular reason to look forward to the Fall of 2019, Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski gave them one this week.
NFL Brent Sobleski @@brentsobleski Twitter Logo NFL Analyst The offseason can be as thrilling for NFL fans as the regular season. Player movement constantly refreshes rosters-whether through free agency, the draft or trades. Significant changes inject excitement into franchises, personnel and fanbases. A one-time league doormat can become the league's "it' team simply through a string of acquisitions.
Brent identified the biggest reason for each team to look forward to 2019, with the return of center Travis Frederick being the Cowboys' submission. There's no question that when healthy, Frederick is one of the best centers in the game, and anchors an offensive line many still consider to be at the top of the league.
"A full year with wide receiver Amari Cooper and re-signing Demarcus Lawrence to a long-term deal are both reasons for the Dallas Cowboys to be excited. However, the return of Travis Frederick to man the middle of the offensive line is far more pertinent."
Frederick missed all of the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease that I am not nearly qualified enough to discuss. What I do know is that it can be very serious, and it kept Frederick out for the entire year.
The Cowboys offensive line suffered during the early part of 2018, largely due in part to Travis Frederick's absence. Yes, Joe Looney filled in and played as well as anyone could have hoped for, but the disconnect in communication across the offensive line was clear without their usual center. Especially during the first couple months of the season.
If Frederick is fully back and healthy, his presence alone will take the Cowboys offensive line back towards their peak. Combine his comeback with a healthy Zack Martin, and a now bulked up Connor Williams, and the interior of this line has the chance to be special.
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