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Stephen Jones not as emphatic about keeping Greg Hardy as he was

Dallas Cowboys v Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 4: Chief operating officer Stephen Jones of the Dallas Cowboys looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 4, 2014 in Chicago, Illinios. The Cowboys defeated the Bears 41-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones was the one who got the ball rolling, saying the Cowboys wanted to extend defensive end Greg Hardy’s contract.

But that was in October, when Hardy was getting sacks.

Now that they season has ended and the Cowboys received six sacks and a lot of headaches for the $8.8 million they invested in Hardy, Jones doesn’t seem so sure of that.

During an appearance on 1310 The Ticket, Jones was rather noncommittal when asked if Hardy was going to return.

“If you were to say, ‘OK, Greg had six sacks in 12 games, would you have expected more than that?’ The answer to that question is probably yes,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “But at the same time, he affects other players on the defensive line.

“We’re a little early in the game to be bringing final decisions to the table as to whether a player really performed in a way we feel like he should have performed. Should we bring that player back, should we not bring the player back? Those are all things to discuss over the next two to three weeks.”

Of course, it’s more than just the sacks or lack thereof, there’s also the extreme amount of maintenance required, as coach Jason Garrett had to meet with Hardy numerous times, with emerging reports of teammates who grew tired of his “perpetual tardiness” and the lack of consequence.

“That’s the full body of work,” Jones said. “Those are things we will get our hands around when we give the evaluation. There are many things that go into the evaluation. There is one, performance on the field. Two, what kind of guy is he off the field? What’s the medical outlook? Those are all things that will factor in not just to Greg Hardy, but any player we have on our football team.

“As Jason has said many times, we want the right kind of guy on our football team. We will continue to look at that and continue to strive to have the very best men and players we can have.”

That’s about as equivocal as you can be about a guy they so staunchly defended a few months ago, and talked openly about committing to.