The Dallas Cowboys subjected the organization to some semblance of scrutiny by signing Greg Hardy to a one-year deal. Count Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings among those questioning the decision.
After a local sports anchor blasted the team with a lengthy, on-air diatribe, in which he questioned why the Cowboys would elect to bring in a player of such seemingly questionable character, Rawlings characterized the move as “a shot in the gut.”
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The defensive end’s of-the-field issues, specifically the domestic violence accusations and criminal case that involved allegations that beat up and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend, arguably brings into question whether Hardy is the kind of player a team would want on its roster. The criminal charges against Hardy were later dropped with all indications pointing to a civil settlement between the Hardy and the alleged victim as the motivating factor.
Nevertheless, Rawlings, generally an ardent supporter of the local NFL team who has watched games from Jerry Jones’ owner’s suite, says the decision to bring in Hardy just doesn’t sit well with him.
“I’m a big Cowboys fan. I love them to death and I want them to beat the Eagles every time they play,” Rawlings told The Dallas Morning News. “But at some point, being a sports fan gets trumped by being a father, husband, wanting to do what’s right for women, so this is not a good thing. I don’t think I’m going to be buying Hardy jerseys any time soon.”
Harding says he felt compelled to contact the Cowboys to give them a chance to defend the move, something Jones already did in a statement issued by the team shortly after Hardy’s signing. Harding nevertheless reached out to his contacts with the team to “hear their side.”
The Cowboys reportedly assured the mayor that “took this very seriously,” performing background checks on Hardy and signing him to an incentive-laden deal.
Rawlings nevertheless says he’ll continue to root for the Cowboys, but “that doesn’t mean I have to agree with every play that’s called and every person that’s hired, and in this case, I don’t.”