The Dallas Cowboys received a bit of good news today, newly acquired star defensive end Greg Hardy’s 10 game suspension has been changed to just four games by NFL arbitrator Harold Henderson.. Back in February on our site, we discussed the news that his trial was being dismissed. Based on the timing of the incident(s) that caused the suspension, it was believed by many that any disciplinary action he would receive would be under the old rules. Not the changed rules which include a harder stance on domestic violence, think back to Ray Rice’s suspension (initially 2 games).
Then, after a few months the NFL issued a 10 game suspension to Greg Hardy. So whichever team he would sign with would do so not knowing the level of suspension he would receive, just knowing that a suspension was imminent. The ruling came after he was signed, so none of the teams in the running for Hardy would know the length of said suspension.
NFL super insider Adam Schefter tweeted the ruling about an hour ago. Others chimed in as well, regarding Henderson’s ruling.
NFL reduces Greg Hardy suspension to 4 games. Drew Rosenhaus said he will confer with Hardy, NFLPA and his lawyers to discuss next move.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 10, 2015
Hardy’s suspension is now under the new-system standard of six games for first offense, above the old-system high-water mark of two games.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2015
Again, going back to Hardy’s situation being looked at before the new domestic violence rules were enforced, the 10 game suspension definitely fit the “alleged” crimes or incidents. But, it didn’t go with what the NFL had said. They clearly stated that any cases that were up in the air regarding disciplinary action before the new rules, would be treated under the old rules to a degree. It seems as if the difference between the old and new take on domestic violence by the league played a factor.
Harold Henderson on the Greg Hardy appeal decision: “After consideration of all the record … http://t.co/RxgFvheajE
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2015
As usual, the league put itself in a bad situation on several fronts. Domestic violence is a serious issue within the league and has been for such time, it shouldn’t have taken this long for a strong stance to be taken by the league. That being said, we here at My Mind on Sports aren’t the only ones not surprised about the suspension getting reduced.
Obviously this changes the outlook for the Cowboys defense this season, but before addressing that. The NFL has a real issue with domestic violence and truly, truly needs to be proactive in this regard going forward. Add domestic violence related information to the Rookie Symposium at the least, it’s a real issue the league has, It won’t come to an end until it’s taken seriously and enforced strongly by the NFL, not to just appeal the fans, but taken twice as seriously as PED cases.
On to how this affects the Cowboys on the field. They get a 26 year old pass rusher that is either in his prime or getting ready to enter it as a key cog on a defensive unit that was desperate for a pass rush last season. Their much maligned secondary isn’t nearly as bad as most think, a decent pass rush can improve a secondary, an elite pass rush can render it virtually useless. A key example are the St. Louis Rams, no one can name three members of their starting secondary, but it’s common knowledge that they have one of the better defensive units in the league because of their outstanding pass rush. Or how about the Lions last year, again, who played in their secondary that was elite?
A dominant pass rush gives a defense an unfair advantage, it makes everything easier for the levels playing behind said pass rush. With Hardy demanding a double-team from opposing offenses, it gives some of the younger players up front a chance to make plays in one-on-one situations. Expect rookie Randy Gregory to benefit from those opportunities, as well as DeMarcus Lawrence and other youngsters. On the backend of the defense, first round pick Byron Jones is a versatile piece in the secondary that should be able to make an immediate impact. Instantly making him and Orlando Scandrick the fastest defensive backs on their roster. That type of speed should compliment a much improved pass rush. There is certainly a lot for Dallas to be thankful for today, that’s 12 regular season contests for the “Kracken” instead of six when the suspension was first announced.