EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy had a physical confrontation with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia and berated teammates on the coverage unit after barging into their huddle following a decisive 100-yard kickoff return by New York’s Dwayne Harris.
After Harris sped the length of the field for the winning points in the Giants’ 27-20 victory, Hardy stepped into the huddle and exchanged shoves with Bisaccia before New York kicked off with 7:01 remaining Sunday.
In video shown Sunday night by NBC, Hardy could be seen swiping at Bisaccia’s clipboard before the coach put both hands on Hardy’s chest and tried to push him out of the huddle. At that point, other players pulled Hardy away.
“He wanted to get in there and kind of get after some of the guys a little bit, maybe get them fired up,” Bisaccia told reporters for The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It was just not the right time. It’s really not an issue. I just had to communicate what we were going to do next on the return, so I just really wanted him to move on so we could get going.”
Safety Danny McCray, a member of the unit, said Hardy “pushed me a little bit.”
“Greg Hardy is such a passionate player,” McCray said. “He’s all over the place. He’s in the defensive huddle, the offensive huddle, and today he made our special teams huddle. I was a little surprised he was in there. … I didn’t realize who it was. Then I realized it was Greg. He was showing his passion that we gave up the lead and we needed to fix it.
“It’s football. Those guys love each other, and we’ll get in the meetings tomorrow and talk it over. We’ll see what the coach says about it. (Hardy) was just trying to get us fired up.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the incident was not an issue, and team owner Jerry Jones concurred.
“I was standing right there,” Garrett said after Dallas (2-4) lost its fourth straight game.
“To be a good football player and a good football team, you have to have passion and put it all out there. Sometimes in a game, things don’t go well and you have a response. A pro football coach and a pro football team understand that those things happen. You want the guys with passion.
“It was coming off the football field. That happens, you encourage guys, you try to get guys excited. You try to get guys ready for the next challenge. I believe from my vantage point, that’s what he was doing.”
Jones cited Hardy as one of the “real leaders on this team, and he earns it with respect from all of his teammates, and that’s the kind of thing that inspires a football team.”
Hardy, who also could be seen having an intense discussion with injured star receiver Dez Bryant after he was pulled away from the special teams huddle, issued a half-dozen no comments to questions in the locker room, then turned his back to the media.
Hardy is in his first season with Dallas and missed the first four games while suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy while with Carolina. Hardy played only one game for the Panthers in 2014 and spent the rest of the year on the commissioner’s exempt list with full pay. He signed with the Cowboys as a free agent earlier this year.
Hardy was convicted last year of assault on a female and communicating threats in a case involving a former girlfriend. But the charges were dismissed in February after prosecutors said the accuser in the case couldn’t be found.
He signed with Dallas in March and then was suspended for 10 games by the NFL for conduct detrimental to the league, a penalty that was later reduced to four games.
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