Keep Dallas Observer Free
| Sports |

New Greg Hardy Photos Are Disgusting, But We Already Knew the Score

Friday afternoon, Deadspin released the staggering body of evidence it has collected from the state of North Carolina's case against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy. There are detailed, harrowing statements from witnesses, disturbing evidence of Hardy creating a cover story as his alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend was taking place and photos of the damage Hardy allegedly inflicted on his ex, Nicole Holder.

As disgusting as the evidence is, it shouldn't be surprising. Nothing contained in Deadspin's reporting, save the photos, was new. We've known for over a year that Holder claimed Hardy choked her. We've known for over a year that Holder was allegedly tossed on a couch covered with guns by Hardy. We've known that Holder believed and claimed she heard Hardy say he wanted to kill her. We've known, or at the very least carefully avoided admitting to ourselves, that what Hardy probably did to Holder was just as horrific as what former Ravens running back Ray Rice was seen on camera doing in Atlantic City — cold-cocking his future wife before dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator.

We knew all of those things, and we know Rice still hasn't played a down over the last season plus. Rice may not take the field again, but Hardy played Sunday. He'll play next Sunday, too, and probably play well. He's not, like Rice, a running back with deteriorating skills. Hardy has been the Cowboys' best defensive player since he returned from the four-game suspension he received in response to his alleged assault. The team would be much worse off without his contributions; one could be tempted to say the Cowboys need him.

But they don't, and we don't. The Cowboys should not have signed Hardy. He saw his conviction for assaulting Holder dismissed on appeal, but only after he came to a financial settlement with his alleged victim. He got his suspension reduced from 10 to four games because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can't follow procedure, not because of any real mitigating circumstances. 

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted over the weekend that the Cowboys were aware of everything released by Deadspin except the photos. Jones signed Hardy knowing Holder's story. The Cowboys' owner knew the photos existed, knew Hardy allegedly threatened to kill Holder while making it seem the two were engaged in mutual combat. Jones thought, correctly, that Hardy could help his defense, and that was what mattered. The Cowboys, according to Jones, did their due diligence on Hardy. That's fine, but Hardy has never shown the slightest amount of remorse. Even Saturday, the day after photos of his battered ex-girlfriend became public, Hardy would only say that he regretted "what happened."

At some point, and it has probably already happened, we're going to stop being fans and start being enablers for a sport that celebrates violence, destroys its participants' bodies and features team owners who do things like call people like Greg Hardy leaders. At that same juncture, maybe we'll decide the escape, joy and feeling of community that's found in watching the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon isn't going to be worth it anymore. If we're not there yet, it's hard to imagine what it will take.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.