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.
2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1
Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.
Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.
Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.
The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.
Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas
Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.
Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.
The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.
Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.
Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial
Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.
Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.
Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.
Pues en Dallas, hoy dos jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.
Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.
Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.
Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.
Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.
Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?
Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.
The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.
The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.
Lock Down the Big Guns
Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.
Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.
As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.
Adding New Talent
One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.
Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.
If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.
Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.
Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.
The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.
As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.
Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.
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