49ers

Jerry Jones backs Greg Hardy after disturbing photos surface

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Jerry Jones backs Greg Hardy after disturbing photos surface

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas owner Jerry Jones showed support for Greg Hardy on Friday after photos of the bruised ex-girlfriend from the defensive end's domestic violence case were released by Deadspin.

Jones said the team hadn't seen the photos before signing Hardy to an incentive-laden $13 million free agent contract in March, but the Cowboys "were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident."

"We do not condone domestic violence," Jones said in a statement released by the team about eight hours after the photos were posted online. "We entered into the agreement with Greg fully understanding that there would be scrutiny and criticism."

As he was leaving the locker room Friday, Hardy ignored a reporter who asked repeatedly if he wanted to address the release of the photos showing various injuries to Nicole Holder.

Deadspin didn't say how the photos were obtained, and the website's account included some previously unreported details from police reports.

Hardy was convicted by a judge over the 2014 incident in North Carolina, but the case was tossed on appeal when Holder couldn't be located to testify. The incident was expunged from Hardy's record this week. Prosecutors have said Holder reached a financial settlement with Hardy.

The NFL sued for access to some of the photos used at Hardy's trial, eventually reaching a settlement. The league suspended him for 10 games while saying that evidence suggested Holder "was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries."

Hardy's suspension under the personal conduct policy was reduced to four games by an arbitrator. He has played three games for the Cowboys (2-5), who have lost five straight games going into a home game against Philadelphia (3-4) on Sunday night.

Before his Dallas debut against New England, Hardy made headlines again with comments about Tom Brady's wife. He also caused a stir with an inappropriate tweet about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks during this year's draft.

When the Cowboys gave up a decisive kickoff return in a loss to the New York Giants two weeks ago, Hardy barged into special teams coach Rich Bisaccia's huddle before the next kickoff and had a physical confrontation with the assistant coach.

Through it all, Jones has supported Hardy.

"We have given Greg a second chance," Jones said in his statement. "He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career."

Hardy missed the last 15 games with Carolina in 2014 because of the domestic case but still collected his $13 million salary. He was accused of choking and grabbing Holder and throwing her on a futon that had at least four semi-automatic rifles on it.

The NFL announced a tougher personal conduct policy in August 2014, three months after Hardy's incident and following widespread criticism over its handling of the domestic case involving Ray Rice.

The former Baltimore running back was suspended two games after his arrest for assaulting his then-fiancee on an Atlantic City casino elevator, but before video surfaced on his punch that knocked her out.

The league waited to gain evidence from Hardy's case before suspending him, but arbitrator Harold Henderson ruled the 10-game ban was too long because the tougher policy had established six games as the initial punishment in domestic cases.

49ers' DeForest Buckner named Pro Bowl injury replacement for Fletcher Cox

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AP

49ers' DeForest Buckner named Pro Bowl injury replacement for Fletcher Cox

Move over, Mickey Mouse. DeForest Buckner is headed to Orlando. 

The 49ers defensive lineman will play in his first career Pro Bowl on Jan. 27, as the 24-year-old was named as an injury replacement for Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Buckner broke out in a big way in his third NFL season. The Oregon product finished the year with a career-high 12 sacks, tying for the 14th-most in the league. He also had the second-most quarterback pressures at his position, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Named an alternate when the NFL announced Pro Bowl rosters in December, Buckner was arguably one of the biggest snubs from the main roster. After Tuesday's news, he won't need to worry about that for much longer. 

49ers hire Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina

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AP

49ers hire Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina

The 49ers hired Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina, who was fired from the position he held with the 49ers the past two years. The team announced the move on Tuesday, as well as the departure of Zgonina. 

“Kris has become one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the NFL over the last decade and has a proven track record of helping his players maximize their abilities,” coach Kyle Shanahan said in a statement. “When he recently became available, we acted aggressively to add him to our staff because his philosophy, and the style of play he coaches, fits our scheme and personnel very well. We’re excited to get him in the meeting rooms and onto the field with our players.

“I want to thank Jeff for his hard work and dedication to the 49ers over the last two seasons, as his contributions helped to build the foundation of both our defense and team as a whole. He is not only a good football coach, but also a good man, and we wish him the best personally and professionally.”

Kocurek worked on Adam Gase’s staff with the Miami Dolphins this season. The Jets hired Gase as head coach after the Dolphins fired him.

[RELATED: 49ers staff will coach these five QBs at the Senior Bowl]

Kocurek, 40, spent nine seasons as Detroit Lions defensive line coach before moving to Miami.

He was a seventh-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2001. He appeared in just one NFL game with the Tennessee Titans in 2001 before beginning a career in coaching with stops in the college ranks at Texas Tech, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M-Commerce, West Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin.