clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey says Greg Hardy is 'misunderstood' but also caused tension

Mincey and Hardy are both free agents.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey thinks the Cowboys should think twice before bringing back Greg Hardy. Of course, part of that is because Mincey and Hardy play the same position and like Hardy, Mincey is a free agent. But in an interview with KDFW 4 in Dallas, Mincey shed some light on how Hardy joining the Cowboys changed the dynamic around the team.

"You talk about a team that was so close knit and tight and all of a sudden it was just different," Mincey said in the interview, via the Dallas Morning News. "I wouldn't say that he's the reason for that happening, but sometimes change, sometimes if it ain't broke, don't fix it. You know what I mean? And sometimes with change, the team is different."

Hardy signed a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the Cowboys last March after his former team, the Carolina Panthers, elected to let him walk in the wake of a domestic abuse accusation. He was suspended for the first four games -- it was reduced from 10 following an appeal -- of the season and made his Cowboys debut in Week 5 against the New England Patriots. He finished the season with six sacks and 35 tackles but Dallas went just 2-10 in games he played.

Hardy also caused various problems for the team off the field.

He showed no remorse for his actions in his first press conference with the Cowboys and made an inappropriate comment about Tom Brady's wife. He got into physical confrontations with coaches. Also, more photos and details emerged -- all harrowing -- from his domestic violence case.

In his interview with KDFW 4, Mincey said that since his locker was right next to Hardy's, he had an up-close view of this entire circus.

"He sits right beside me, so he's welcomed every day, you know what I mean? I have to deal with him, and being that you have to deal with him, I grew accustomed to a misunderstood person and I got to know him a little better than a lot of people here," Mincey said. "It was tough. It was tough. You know, you got this guy, who you want to be a leader, and then you got that guy. It was just too much."

But Mincey, a 32-year-old defensive end who failed to record a single sack this season, admitted that being a free agent made him a biased observer. He also pointed out why he thinks he'd be a better fit for the Cowboys going forward.

"It's hard to have two type of line mentality guys in one room, so it's tough to figure out who the younger guys are going to follow," he said. "Of course they're going to look up to a [guy] who's a prolific player. But I just understand the game, and I know what it takes to win."

The Cowboys have yet to indicate this offseason what they plan to do with Hardy going forward.