Greg Hardy on how to rattle Eli Manning: ‘Hit him in the mouth’

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is back to his trash-talking ways, but toned it down a little bit.

Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks after making controversial comments regarding “guns blazing” — not to mention untoward talk about Tom Brady and his wife — ahead of the Dallas Cowboys’ showdown with the New England Patriots, Greg Hardy toned down the rhetoric and kept his comments ahead of Sunday’s tilt against the New York Giants strictly related to the action on the football field.

The Cowboys defensive end explained to reporters how he and his teammates intend to rattle Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

“Hit him in the mouth,” Hardy said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The best thing for any team is to make the quarterback feel pain. You’ve got to be respectful of the rules of the game and honestly you don’t want to hurt anybody, but to make him feel you is to bring his eyes down. You don’t want a quarterback like Eli Manning looking down the field, ever. Ever, ever, ever.”

It’s a reasonable plan of attack and certainly a less inflammatory way to discuss an upcoming opposing quarterback than how Hardy went about it ahead of the game against the Patriots. Hardy’s comments about Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen ignited a firestorm that prompted Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to come to his player’s defense, albeit in a confusing manner.

Hardy, after sitting out the first four games of the season due to suspension, had a great outing against the Patriots in a losing effort, sacking Brady twice and registering five hits on the quarterback. He clearly hopes to duplicate that effort and inflict pain upon Manning Sunday. But to be fair, despite his troubling off-the-field history, Hardy’s comments fall in line with how defensive players have been talking about getting after quarterbacks for a long time.

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