I have no problem with Hardy being emotional, but I do have a problem with the way he was with the media after the game. The way he kept saying, "No comment," with an angry attitude shows that he lacks maturity. The argument that happened during the game is a nonissue, because it happens all the time. You don't need to make it a bigger story in the locker room. I don't trust players who can't regulate emotion -- and let it get out of control -- on a big stage.
In 2009, when I was on IR in New Orleans, I had to approach games delicately. When you're out there playing, you don't want to be hearing it from someone who's not in the game. It sounds arrogant, but it's true. That's my thought with Dez. A 60-minute game is overwhelming enough without the extra, unwanted hoopla. I thought it was inappropriate. I always lean toward being passionate and even over-passionate at times, but there are certain boundaries that you don't cross. The first being interrupting a coach while he's coaching. The other is, you've got to respect the space, whether you're talking to another player on the field or a coach; you don't push and shove or slap paperwork out of a coach's hand.
At the very least, it sends a bad message to teammates watching you, especially the younger guys. They follow the lead of the veterans, whether it manifests itself immediately or five years from now, they repeat that same behavior because they saw it once. He's just passionate. I kind of feel like he's more frustrated than anything, especially going from Carolina to his off-the-field problems to Dallas where he wants to reestablish himself. His hopes for this team are probably better than what they're doing right now. His frustration boiled over on the sideline.
He wears his emotion on his sleeve, and if I had a team, I'd want him playing for me. At the end of the day, he's a good football player. I'm going to deal with everything on the sideline. But hopefully, he'll understand that you can't act like that, or you're not going to be in the NFL. The sideline altercation between Greg Hardy and the Dallas Cowboys special teams coach has blown out of proportion. Although you never like to see players or coaches involved in verbal spats or physical altercations, it isn't unusual for those things to happen in the middle of a game when emotions are running high. Hardy was likely charged up and in "gladiator" mode, leading him to lash out at his teammates and coaches when the team surrendered the lead. While you would like to see him control his emotions and take a different approach, the passionate response isn't a big deal in a room full of alpha personalities. Outsiders might view it differently based on their high school or college experiences, but pros routinely argue and confront each other in the heat of the moment before patching things up at a later time. I'm sure Hardy and the coach regret the world seeing their spat, but football doesn't always feature choir boys patting each other on the back. Football is an emotional sport and players have a lot of emotions throughout a game. Either we have really high highs or really low lows, and in that situation, he was in a low. He wants to win and is passionate about winning. But I do think he should've gone about it in a different way. He got caught up in the game in the mix of everything.
They have to figure out a way for all sides -- coaches, players and the organization -- to have an avenue where they can talk, relate to each other and have a respect issue. You don't want all of this in the media, because it's just another distraction. I think you can rally the troops and be motivated, but when you interfere with what a coach is trying to do with a group, I think there's no place for that. When 10 different players are trying to calm you down because they think that you were out of line for interfering, that's an issue. People can talk about passion all they want and love of the game and the fact that Dallas is trying to change things to get out of this four-game losing streak, but there's ways to do that. I thought Hardy crossed the line.