TRUE BLUE FAN QUESTION: Should the Dallas Cowboys sign free-agent pass rusher Greg Hardy?

Dallas Cowboys question mark - Fan comment n commentary - The Boys Are Back blogSpecial thanks to loyal The Boys Are Back reader Donnie, who replied to this post DALLAS’ DREADED DEAD-MONEY DEALS with an interesting question:

“My question is: Are we going to get a step-in, pass rusher this year, like a Greg Hardy? We can probably get him for cheap anyway, we dealt with worse people and made it ok!!”

The question is great because so many Dallas Cowboy fans are missing the pass rush threat that was anchored by DeMarcus Ware for so many years. The team responded, in part, by drafting DeMarcus Lawrence with their 2014 second round pick. Lawrence showed promise once he returned from his injury late in the season, but the pass rush issue is far from resolved. The pressure from Marinelli’s Maulers was just a click short more often than not. The front seven seemed to be a split-second late getting to the opposing quarterback. That left the linebackers and secondary vulnerable and exposed at times. That’s a concern that we’ll surely see addressed in the upcoming NFL Draft and the remaining free-agency period.

The solution is debatable because success can be achieved by “right” lineman, linebacker or defensive back. It can also come from this very young defensive core of players entering their 2nd and 3rd years of Marinelli’s rotational system. All told, there are 16 defensive linemen (including NT Ken Bishop) on the Dallas Cowboys payroll. Personally, I agree with Donnie on his approach to this … defensive lineman. But, is Greg Hardy the best solution?

THE GOOD: Greg Hardy will be an amazing (on the field) addition to any team. He will drastically change their defense. In his last two full seasons, Hardy had a total of 26 sacks and three forced fumbles. Hardy became a free agent on Tuesday when the Carolina Panthers declined to re-sign him, and he is free to sign with any team.

THE BAD: Hardy would have been one of the bigger free-agent signings this offseason, had he not had any off-the-field issues. Hardy faced domestic violence charges in 2014 and ended up costing the Panthers $13.1 million to play in only one game. The charges against Hardy were dropped Feb. 9, when his accuser, former girlfriend Nicole Holder, refused to cooperate with the district attorney’s office after reaching a financial settlement with Hardy. He remains on the commissioners exempt list for his domestic violence case.

THE UGLY: The former Panther is still waiting the league’s decision on what will happen to him this season. Some type of suspension seems definite. Anywhere from a 2 to 6 game suspension appears likely. Based on the recent Adrian Peterson/Judge Doty ruling, a two-game suspension could be in line.

Hardy could still find gainful employment, but his league eligibility status is having a chilling effect on his market value. He’s met with the league already, but they haven’t issued any punishment he’ll face.

Hardy is seeking immediate reinstatement by the NFL, which is still mulling whether to suspend Hardy under the league’s personal conduct code.

“It’s a very positive situation,” agent Drew Rosenhaus said Friday morning. “While we’re waiting to hear from the league, we’re working through it, and it has been very encouraging.”


Dallas Cowboys current defensive linemen


Active Roster:


79

Boatright, Kenneth

DE

6-4

253

25

1

Southern Illinois

90

Lawrence, DeMarcus

DE

6-3

251

22

R

Boise St.

92

Mincey, Jeremy

DE

6-4

280

31

7

Florida

93

Spencer, Anthony

DE

6-3

265

31

8

Purdue

98

Crawford, Tyrone

DE

6-4

285

25

3

Boise State

99

Selvie, George

DE

6-4

270

28

5

South Florida

95

Brent, Josh

DT

6-2

320

27

4

Illinois

96

Hayden, Nick

DT

6-4

303

29

7

Wisconsin

97

McClain, Terrell

DT

6-2

300

26

4

South Florida

Practice Squad:

60

Coleman, Davon

DT

6-2

300

24

R

Arizona State

Injured Reserve:


58

Crawford, Jack

DE

6-5

275

26

3

Penn State

63

Gardner, Ben

DE

6-4

270

23

R

Stanford

64

Edwards, Lavar

DE

6-4

278

24

2

Louisiana State

Non-Football Injured Reserve:

64

Whaley, Chris

DT

6-3

272

24

R

Texas

76

Okoye, Amobi

DT

6-2

292

27

7

Louisville


Is Greg Hardy the best solution? Is Marinelli already developing his impact player on the current roster? Should Dallas stick with the rotation in search of the right pairing? Should patience prevail and wait on the upcoming NFL Draft for a pass-rushing specialist to bookend with Lawrence? Should the Cowboys strongly consider another interior lineman to pressure the quarterbacks?

Robert D Knight | Editor

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