WFAA’s Dale Hansen joined the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss his comments on Greg Hardy. Here are some highlights from the interview.
On the reaction to his comments on Greg Hardy:
“My wife was telling me that I was too harsh in the commentary and that I had gone too far and I said to her, ‘Then, Michael Vick is OK with you?’ Because a lot of people obviously didn’t think what Michael Vick did was that bad. My wife, who is the biggest dog and animal lover ever, thinks he should be kicked out of the country. I get that the fact that it’s kind of this sliding scale, and that is the hard part of it. I don’t know how we’re going to resolve this. I just look at the local team. I look at the Dallas Cowboys and I think lot of people — not everybody obviously but a lot of people — think this might go too far in this particular environment following on the heels of the Ray Rice case and so many others. I just wish the Cowboys would’ve joined the other 27 or 28 teams that weren’t interested in Greg Hardy.”
On Jerry’s comments on Greg Hardy:
“I think this says a great deal: he hasn’t said anything yet. They were so proud of this great signing that they made. Where is he? Jerry is not exactly camera shy, but we haven’t heard from him yet. I expect that we will someday soon, but they didn’t even send out a press release announcing this yet. At least they didn’t send it to me, which is possible. As I pointed out, the hypocrisy of this drives me nuts. The Cowboys and so many others are saying it doesn’t matter, but here’s Charlotte Anderson Jones, Jerry’s daughter, who is on the personal conduct policy committee. What kind of a committee is that? What kind of a policy has she come up with that Greg Hardy is going to receive $10, $11, $12, $13 million this year on the heels of his latest case.”
On everybody only caring about what players do on the football field:
“It’s been that way too long. The bottom line to too many people, that’s all they care about. I had a guy tell me a couple years back on one of the other player issues, and I think he was absolutely serious about this, he said, ‘If you take a bus on Sunday morning to the state prison in Huntsville, load them up, bring them to Arlington, win the game, drive them back to Huntsville, lock them up, I’m completely OK with that.’ It’s scary to me. It’s absolutely scary to me that I do think there are a lot of people that for whatever reason — I’m not one of them — but for a lot of people, ‘If you can help my team win, I will look the other way.’ I just think it’s a disgusting attitude to have.”
Charlotte Jones Anderson not afraid of opportunity to educate, impact, and change
Charlotte Jones Anderson understands the public outrage over the signing of Greg Hardy. The Dallas Cowboys executive vice president knows the issues that come with adding a player who was convicted of domestic violence before the judge’s decision was vacated when the accuser failed to show for a jury trial.
But she also sees the opportunity to draw attention to an issue that goes beyond the initial condemnation many express. She talks about education, impact and change.
Anderson is more than just the chief brand officer for the Cowboys. She is a member of the NFL conduct committee. She sat down with the Dallas Morning News in her Valley Ranch office Saturday to discuss Hardy’s signing.
“A lot of people say this is awful, but they don’t know what to do,’’ Anderson said. “That’s why this is such an incredible opportunity. That’s why I’m not afraid of this move.
“I’m a mom. I’ve got a daughter, I’ve got two sons. This is a serious issue for me, personally. I want my kids to know that domestic violence is not acceptable. But I also want them to know that if they make a mistake, no matter what the issue is, I’m not just going to throw them out. I’ve got to help them come back and make a better choice.
“This is an opportunity to really make a significant impact. This is very powerful and it’s very important, and important for me personally.
“I think you will look back and you will say this is the right move for the Cowboys.’’
Spagnola: Take time to dig deep into the Hardy signing
IRVING, Texas – Enough. Enough vitriol over the signing of Greg Hardy.
A whole bunch of people on their high horse need more time to take a breath.
OK now, deep breath. Slowly exhale. Again.
Now then, can we cut the hysteria and talk rationally? Can we act like we are a civilized society, leaving the woebegone days of vigilante justice in the streets where popular opinion served as our judge and jury?
Look, I get it. Hardy is no angel. If he had been, he’d still be with the Carolina Panthers. No way his skills for sacking quarterbacks from the defensive end position would have been available to the Dallas Cowboys, certainly desperately looking for someone to consistently put quarterbacks on their (ahem), like averaging at least one a game – something the Cowboys haven’t enjoyed since DeMarcus Ware finished with 19.5 in 2011. Since, they’ve not had anyone register more than 11.5 sacks in a season, and were saddled with a team-leading low of six this past year when the Cowboys’ overall total of 28 finished 28th in the NFL.
Ended up being their Achilles heel in the bitter, Green Bay cold.
So instead of painting this whole ordeal – and Hardy – with a roller, let’s just for a minute brush this case with fact. That’s all, just fact, and then you decide.
First, none of us are capable of getting to the bottom of one of these he-said, she-said affairs.
Secondly, while it’s been widely reported Hardy was “convicted” of domestic assault and communicating threats to his one-time girlfriend in a bench trial conducted by Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Becky Thorne Tin back in July 2014, this a legal process where defense attorneys are not allowed to question evidence, witnesses or the victim. Judge Tin, after an exhaustive 10-hour court session, solely sentenced Hardy to a 60-day suspended jail sentence and 18 months of probation.
His offense was classified as a “misdemeanor.” For comparison, misdemeanors, among other things, include public intoxication, possession of marijuana and theft, like if you run out of a department store with underwear you didn’t pay for. Seemingly a stern paddling compared to this recent outcry.
Under North Carolina law, appealing such a ruling from a “bench” trial grants you the right to a jury trial. Hardy’s attorney appealed rather than accept the 18 months of probation, which, in essence would have been an admission of guilt. The trial was scheduled for November and then pushed back until Feb. 9.
In turn, the NFL, in no-man’s land and on the heels of the Ray Rice fiasco, decided to remain in limbo, placing Hardy on what we’ve since learned even existed, the commissioner’s exempt list, the second week of the season. While he was paid his weekly sum for having signed the $13 million franchise tag, he never played again after the season opener.
And sometime in between then and Feb. 9, Hardy and his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, came to a civil settlement. The prosecutors informed Superior Court Judge Robert Sumner on the Feb. 9 day of the trial that Holder evidently accepted an undetermined amount of money not to pursue the case, and subsequently had quit cooperating with the DA’s office. They also informed the judge that day they could not locate Holder after an extensive search and would not proceed prosecuting the case.
In minutes, the judge dismissed the case, meaning the previous misdemeanor conviction was vacated, legally exonerating Hardy though not implying he was innocent.
This, though, is an interesting passage in The Charlotte Observer from Feb. 9, 2015, and then updated on the 15th, sort of a legal lesson for all of us:
Victims and witnesses routinely stop cooperating in domestic-abuse cases and prosecutors still take the cases to court. (DA Andrew) Murray, though, said the Hardy case was different. He also appeared to raise doubts about Holder’s credibility in a statement to the judge … and only recently had (prosecutors) compared what Holder told police the night of the alleged assault with her testimony at Hardy’s first trial.
Notice, The Observer used a journalism school term, alleged, one of the first words we were taught in News-Ed 101, for real.
Then there was this passage: Several legal experts around town speculated that prosecutors spotted inconsistencies that prevented them from building their case around Holder’s former accounts. To enter an unavailable witness’s prior testimony and statements as evidence, prosecutors have “to vouch” for its truthfulness, said Charlotte defense attorney George Laughrun.
Now, unfortunately for the NFL, it is having to sift through what the court system once again struggled with before deciding if Hardy should be suspended, and if so, for how long. Already the NFL has hit a stumbling block since the league is filing suit for the Mecklenburg DA’s office to release evidence and testimony from the original trial.
Lots of gray area, and that is why the Cowboys structured Hardy’s one-year contract to account for just that. And here, too, are the facts of that contract.
No guaranteed money – no signing bonus or any portion of base salary.
The 2014 salary cap hit is $3.213 million, including a $745,000 base salary, a $1.31 million workout bonus that has to be earned and a $1.156 million roster bonus if he makes the 53-man roster.
While this can be a one-year, as much as a $11.3 million contract, there is $9.255 million tied up in per-game bonuses that will be paid thusly: $578,437 for every week Hardy is on the 53-man roster. Meaning, slapped with, say, a four-game suspension, Hardy would be docked $2.313 million from that $9.255 million figure. Also, the salary cap is charged weekly, so that money has to be available.
As for the $13.1 million figure: That’s the most he can make if he hits the highest performance bonus, which is $1.8 million for 14 sacks. This though, is charged to the 2016 cap, classified as an unlikely to be earned bonus since none of the bonus levels listed were achieved the previous season.
Also, no franchise-tag designation was negotiated into the deal, which seems to have angered those in favor of the Cowboys having signed Hardy. But that is the price for no guaranteed money being included in the contract and for only having offered the one-year deal. Both sides have an out, for better or for worse, Hardy only obligated to a one-year contract and the Cowboys able to cut ties with the player for whatever reason without carrying over a huge cap penalty into the following season for guaranteed money.
There you go. Those are the facts, legal and financial.
Someone asked me this week how I would have felt about Hardy if another team had signed him. My response was, I probably would not have researched some of this background information in his legal case that would have allowed me to form a more educated opinion. Might not even have considered the inner workings of this very conservatively-structured contract.
Just know the Cowboys did not enter into this agreement cavalierly or recklessly. There was a lot of weighing the competitive pros and the public backlash cons. They did their due diligence into the case, into Hardy’s background, and even at that aren’t totally sure themselves how the NFL will handle his availability. They, too, must wait and see.
And since this contract isn’t long term or laced with guaranteed money, that tells me the Cowboys themselves are taking a wait-and-see approach with Hardy.
Know this, too: The Cowboys would not have gone down this road if the entire operation didn’t think Hardy potentially was a supreme difference maker, and as owner Jerry Jones pointed out after the signing, to the comparable level of what a quarterback can mean to a team. And also know not overspending to re-sign DeMarco Murray has allowed the Cowboys to earmark these dollars for Hardy.
Plain and simple, the Cowboys needed a serious upgrade to their pass rush, and they are not too proud to admit so, otherwise they would not have taken on this raging backlash. There was not a pass rusher of this caliber in free agency. In fact, one ranking site had Hardy the 14th best free agent and the second-highest non-franchised defensive end, the potential of a suspension likely preventing him from being the No. 1 DE and a top-10 free agent.
Did the Cowboys go out on a limb? You bet they did, and at the moment that limb is sagging.
And Hardy has been told because of that, now is the time for him to uphold his end of the bargain, and then some … on and off the field.
Them are the facts in this case.
Now, we see how it all plays out.
Courtesy: Mickey Spagnola
Mark Cuban defends Hardy signing but Cowboys handled it wrong publicly
Dallas Mavs’ Mark Cuban doesn’t subscribe to the old exaggeration that if Charles Manson could get 20 points and 10 rebounds every night, he’d be signed by an NBA team in a heartbeat.
But he does believe that athletes – and people in general – deserve second chances, which is why he doesn’t have a problem with the Dallas Cowboys signing of defensive lineman Greg Hardy.
Cuban didn’t think the Cowboys handled the situation correctly. But he doesn’t have a problem with them bringing aboard Hardy – assuming they are taking proper steps to police him.
“I think they handled it wrong publicly,” Cuban said. “But I don’t know all the details behind the scene. You can’t just throw people away. What are you going to say about Greg Hardy? You can’t ever get a job? The question is, is he working with a counselor? Is he going through support programs? Is there somebody there, if he’s got a significant other, if they’re working with them? And making sure he really is rehabbing himself.
“If a guy is an alcoholic, we’ll work with him. If he’s a drug-addict, we’ll work with him. If a guy is in a hit-and-run accident, we’ll work with him. If a guy has domestic abuse (problems), some people want to throw him away. And you can’t throw your mistakes to the curb. At some point, somebody’s got to take responsibility for him. So if what the Cowboys are doing is putting together a whole support team to make sure, then more power to them. They did the exact right thing.”
Last spring, Hardy was found guilty by a North Carolina judge of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend. The verdict was tossed when Hardy requested a jury trial and charges were dropped when the woman refused to cooperate with authorities after receiving a financial settlement from Hardy.
Cuban was asked where the line should be drawn when dealing with athletes who run afoul of the law.
“The line is, can somebody be rehabbed,” Cuban said. “If somebody is rehabbable, you rehab them. If he’s not rehabbable, then he’s probably incarcerated because it’s something that’s going to happen again and again. That’s why you have court systems.
“The onus is on him and the Cowboys, both of them. If you hire somebody that has a specific problem and you ignore that problem, then it’s on you.”
Cuban was adamant that performance on the field is not something that will solely fix Hardy’s problem. If he gets 15 sacks this season, that’s great. But it will take more.
“It depends what he does off the field,” Cuban said. “If he makes the same mistakes, it won’t matter what he did. The NFL will throw the book at him. If he minds his P’s and Q’s and is a good citizen and a good spouse or whatever the case maybe, then everybody will say: ‘OK, he cleaned up his act.’ America loves a second act and that’s a good thing.”
HOT AIR HANSEN: ‘Unplugged’ segments are unscheduled, unapologetic, unrelenting
Nothing on local television stirs the pot like Dale Hansen’s “Unplugged” segments on the WFAA (Channel 8) news. According to longtime sports anchor Hansen, he has carte blanche on what in essence are spirited editorials delivered with a preacher’s zeal with no shades of grey. He doesn’t have to seek approval from his bosses, and there’s no editing unless he asks which noun or verb might be a better fit.
Hansen is more entertainer than journalist. Always has been. Always will be.
“You can’t make a living any more narrating highlights and reading ball scores,” he said in a telephone conversation the other day.
The conversation came the morning after the latest Hansen “Unplugged” skewered the Cowboys for their signing of free-agent defensive end Greg Hardy, a pass-rushing missile who was accused in court of assaulting his former girlfriend.
In his inimitable scorched-earth delivery, Hansen attacked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, coach Jason Garrett and Garrett’s 84-year-old stroke-victim father, Jim, a former Cowboys scout who lives in New Jersey, for something he said years ago in urging the team to draft Randy Moss, who may not have been a Boy Scout, but lord how he could catch a football.
“Is there no line you won’t cross? Is there no crime you won’t accept? Is there no behavior you will not tolerate?” Hansen asked in his latest “Unplugged” segment.
The “Unplugged” sermons aren’t scheduled. They air when Hansen’s blood pressure reaches a boil, or when he feels he has found a piñata begging to be walloped.
It makes for good television, and social media eat it up. I called Hansen a little after 9 a.m., because he works nights and I didn’t want to wake him up.
When I asked if I’d stirred him from sleep, Hansen told me NBC Radio’s Dan Patrick woke him at 7:30 a.m. and he’d already done the national show.
He wasn’t grumpy.
Here’s our subsequent question-and-answer conversation, designed to learn how the “Unplugged” process works.
Are you ever limited in what you can say?
There are two basic ground rules. I write them when I want to, and I don’t have to get them approved. The news director, Carolyn Mungo, came to me at about 4 in the afternoon (Wednesday) and asked if she could see the script. I said, “Sure.”
Is there any “Unplugged” you regret, or one you wished you had delivered?
Several years ago, Jerry Jones was secretly taped saying things (about Bill Parcells and Tim Tebow) in a bar. I refused to do the story. The news director said, “Why don’t you do one of your famous ‘Unpluggeds’ on why we are wrong to report the story?’ So I did. I basically said, “This station tonight has made a big mistake.” That really pissed off management. But I got a lot of positive reaction from news directors around the country. I was going to write a follow-up. The station was livid. I thought someone threatened me. … Finally I didn’t do it. I should have.
Has station management ever killed one?
I was at my grandson’s baseball game, which we were taping for a story. The commissioner of the league objected to our taping the game. … He cancelled the game in the second inning. I did a scathing piece. The news director back then called me in and asked if I really wanted to do it. He didn’t kill the commentary. But I saw his point. It never aired.
Do you ever hear from Jerry Jones after an unfavorable “Unplugged?”
Never have. He is the best I’ve ever known at taking a hit and bouncing back. Once at training camp I said he ran a Mickey Mouse operation. He came up to me after and asked me if I wanted to go have a beer and never brought it up.
Does everybody react the same way?
Mark Cuban won’t talk to me. He refuses to do interviews with me.
He contends you haven’t asked in 10 years. Is that true?
I know for a fact that we’ve tried to get him in the last five or six years. They won the NBA championship. We wanted him. We will put it to the test again if he will come on.
Breaking down Greg Hardy’s contract with Dallas Cowboys
Greg Hardy signed an incentive-laden one-year contract with no guaranteed money that prohibits the Dallas Cowboys from placing the franchise or transition tag on him in 2016. His 2015 salary cap number is estimated to be $3.2 million.
- Salary: $745,000
- Roster Bonus: $578,437 per game
- Workout Bonus: $1.31 million
- 8 sacks: $500,000
- or 10 sacks: $1 million
- or 12 sacks: $1.4 million
- or 14 sacks: $1.804 million
- Max Incentives: 1.804 million
- Maximum Possible Value: $13.1 million
DMN POLL RESULTS: Do you like the Cowboys’ addition of Greg Hardy?