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Mailbag: Terms Of Hardy's Suspension?; What's The Plan For Ben Gardner?

FRED LONDONMORRISTOWN, TN
I haven't seen Ben Gardner included in the defensive discussion. Why not?

Bryan:You haven't seen much from Gardner because all we have heard or seen with our own eyes that he is working out and trying to get his shoulder right for the season. There have been some cases where a rookie with an injury does come back and make an appearance on the team and help, so that is the hope. His college tape was good enough to get him drafted, but until you see him on the field there is not really much you can talk about.

David:The most you can do for Gardner right now is hope. He's been injured, and he was also a seventh-round pick – so by no means is he a guy that's guaranteed to make the roster. Provided he's healthy, which I think he will be, he should get an opportunity to compete for a roster spot. But the math tells us the Cowboys will probably carry four, maybe five defensive ends into the 2015 season. Three of those spots are accounted for by Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey and DeMarcus Lawrence. He's got his work cut out for him.

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ANDREW ABAREWASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, OH
So now we have Greg Hardy. There is a possible suspension pending for (if you believe what is written on the internet) 4-6 games. Can someone explain to me the difference between the commissioner's exempt list and a suspension, please? Didn't he already miss 15 games last year? Call it what you will, isn't that a suspension?

Bryan:The Commissioner's suspension that everyone was calling it last season was not really a suspension at all but a holding area that was created to help the Panthers keep the player, pay him and deal with it on a week-to-week basis. Now that he has changed teams, this is where you are going to see the league act. My guess and only a guess it will most likely be four games. I believe the Cowboys have an idea where this is going to fall.

David: The league isn't going to view that as a suspension, because Hardy got paid his $13 million salary despite sitting out most of the year. The reason he was held out in the first place wasn't a disciplinary measure, it was a precaution while Hardy waited for the legal system to play out. The NFL is going to have its own ruling on all of this, and the Cowboys are just going to have to hope it's not steep.

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