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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doubles down on Greg Hardy support

Jerry Jones

AP

The Eagles who were blocking him didn’t have many nice things to say about Greg Hardy.

But his Cowboys employers made another round of statements defending the controversial defensive end.

According to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended Hardy’s “second chance” again, after widespread criticism following the release of the photos of injuries suffered by his ex-girlfriend.

“Greg has a commitment to us,” Jones said. “He has a commitment to do the right thing. We expect him to do the right thing. He has a commitment to his teammates and our team. The way it’s set up in the NFL, relative to behavior, and in fact we wanted to give Greg a second chance.

“And you lose that in the NFL if you don’t do the right things. If he will do the right things, if he will take advantage of the opportunities that he has got there and this second chance, then we’ll see how it goes.”

That’s a lot more conditional than previous statements about Hardy, or the fact Jones called him a “real leader” and talked openly about wanting to give him a contract extension.

It’s almost as if they’ve realized that people have a negative reaction to seeing a battered and bruised woman, and then hearing excuses and justifications for the man who put them on her.

(Hardy’s record of his domestic violence arrest was expunged last week, just before photos of ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder’s injuries were published by Deadspin).

Hardy didn’t talk after the game, and has only tweeted out a short message of “regret 4 what happened in past”, leaving his bosses to talk for him.

“I’ll just say this one thing about the Greg Hardy situation: We as an organization, we don’t condone domestic violence,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We take the issue very, very seriously. We knew when we signed Greg Hardy there would be some criticism that came with that. We laid out expectations for Greg right from the start. We decided that we were going to give him a second chance, but in doing so, the expectations and the standards that we set would be very clear to him -- how he, and really everybody else, is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field.

“And those expectations and those standards are very clear to him. We decided to give him a second chance. He’s worked hard for our football team up to this point. He knows what the expectations and standards are, and we’re going to hold him accountable to those.”

Hardy had a sack last night, but it didn’t have an impact on the game, which the Cowboys lost, as they’ve done in each of the game he has played for them.