Dallas Cowboys Second-Round Pick Gets Help


Jun 16, 2015; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy (76) runs through a drill during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

If he keeps his head on straight, the Dallas Cowboys got a steal in the 2015 NFL Draft in Randy Gregory. After being projected as a Top-10 pick, he ended up slipping all the way the second round. Testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine can have that effect on draft prospects.

So the Cowboys have him and the biggest factor on how well a prospect does as a rookie how much help he has. And Gregory got help from the NFL on Friday when arbitrator Harold Henderson reduced Hardy’s suspension for conduct detrimental to the league from 10 to four games. Hardy was suspended in April for his role in a 2014 domestic violence incident.

Henderson said in a statement obtained by NFL Media’s Albert Breer, “I find that the conduct of Hardy clearly violates the letter and spirit of any version of the [personal conduct policy] since its inception, and of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws long before then. The egregious conduct exhibited here is indefensible in the NFL. However, ten games is simply too much, in my view, of an increase over prior cases without notice such as was done last year, when the ‘baseline’ for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension.

So while Hardy decides if he’s going to fight the NFL over time served for missing 15 games last year, this is good news. It’s really the best of news for Gregory, who will have plenty of help rushing the passer from the other side now. If the suspension holds up, Gregory still has a chance to come in and do damage in the first four weeks.

It will be at that time that opposing teams have enough film on him to game-plan for him. And if opposing teams don’t feel anything else will work they can chip him and slide the protection his way. But if Hardy is back after Week 4, all bets are off because most of the game-planning will be done for him.

Plus the leadership Hardy will be able to display on the field will have a big impact on the rookie. This reduction in Hardy’s suspension is a big victory in more ways than one for the Cowboys. With the pass-rush they have this year that was missing last year, they are now a real threat to the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs.

Next: projections-for-2015-first-round-picks