Stephen: Team Respects NFL's Hardy Ruling; Draft Approach Doesn't Change

IRVING, Texas – Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys respect the NFL's decision to suspend Greg Hardy 10 games following a lengthy investigation, but he declined to speculate on the possibility of a reduced suspension pending an appeal by the newly-signed defensive end.

"That's something that I'm sure his legal guys are on, and they'll go through whatever process they do," Jones said Friday on the Cowboys' flagship radio station, 105.3 The Fan.

The NFL announced Hardy's 10-game suspension in a statement Wednesday, citing "conduct detrimental to the league in violation of the NFL Constitution and By-Laws, the NFL Player Contract, and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

The Cowboys signed Hardy in mid-March to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with a pay-as-you-go structure and other incentives that can total more than $13 million.

"We said all along our eyes were wide open when we signed Greg and knew that he was facing a suspension," Jones said. "Certainly (commissioner) Roger (Goodell) and the NFL obviously takes this very serious in terms of domestic violence. We certainly respect where the league came down, and we'll move forward."

Until his suspension takes effect on Sept. 5, Hardy may participate in all preseason activities with the Cowboys, including the voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program that began Monday. Hardy has been a regular participant in workouts here at Valley Ranch.

Hardy's 10-game suspension means the Cowboys must prepare to play without him for nearly two-thirds of the regular season, but Jones said the team's final draft preparation doesn't change leading into the first round next Thursday night.

"What we want to do is get the very best players we can get to improve this football team," Jones said. "Obviously defense is a focus. We've been up front saying as we move into the draft that defense is our focus. At the same time, we think we've made all the moves that we needed to in free agency to really solidify our football team. Hopefully the draft will serve as a tool to make us better."

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