Although an arbitrator reduced
A decision on whether Hardy accepts the four-game ban or takes legal action against the league is expected soon, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday the next step is completely up to Hardy.
The Cowboys signed Hardy in March before commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Hardy for 10 games for “conduct detrimental to the league.”
A judge found Hardy guilty of domestic violence in July 2014 and sentenced him to 18 months probation after suspending a 60-day jail sentence. The NFL suspended Hardy 10 games in April, noting that Hardy violated the league's personal conduct policy.
“After consideration of all the record evidence and arguments, I conclude that the Commissioner acted within his authority and properly exercised his discretion in finding that Hardy violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy,” arbitrator Harold Henderson said in a statement Friday. “I find that the conduct of Hardy clearly violates the letter and spirit of any version of the PCP since its inception, and of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws long before then. The egregious conduct exhibited here is indefensible in the NFL.
“However, 10 games is simply too much, in my view, of an increase over prior cases without notice such as was done last year, when the ‘baseline’ for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension. Therefore, the discipline of Mr. Hardy hereby is modified to a suspension of four games; all other terms of the discipline letter remain in place.”
"He's explosive," tight end Jason Witten said. "He plays until the whistle blows… To have a guy come in and play that way, I think, speaks volumes for what kind of character he is and what kind of individual he is."
Moreover, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday he wasn't sure when the final decision on Hardy's suspension would be made.
"I think it's usually two weeks, is the time frame," he said. "I don't think it's a rule or anything, but that's usually what you expect. Sometimes it can be sooner."
Hardy did attend Tuesday's OTA practice. It is not known how long he'll be sidelined with the illness.
Dallas, which doesn't play any role in the appeal process, is supporting its player from a far.
“No real comment beyond just supporting him,’’ head coach Jason Garrett said. “This is part of the process that he’s going to go through in appealing this suspension. He and his representatives will handle it as well as they can and we’ll see what happens.
“The biggest thing is to handle it the right way. We’re going to try to handle it the right way as an organization and we expect him to handle it the right way as an individual player."
A judge found Hardy guilty of domestic violence in July of 2014 and sentenced him to 18 months probation after suspending a 60-day jail sentence.
Hardy and his reps will argue that he was found not guilty in the eyes of the law, and that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's punishment -- 10-game suspension -- was excessive compared to what was outlined in the personal conduct policy -- two-game suspension -- at the time of the incident involving his former girlfriend.
The NFL's investigation at the time concluded that Hardy's actions "constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”
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