As has been the case so many times in his career already, it has proven to be a mistake.
In an excerpt of the exclusive interview with Adam Schefter (which it’s unclear how many others were pursuing), Hardy continued to show an extreme lack of self-awareness when asked about the domestic violence charges which led him out of Charlotte and into Dallas.
“I’ve never put my hand on ANY women,” Hardy said, in a partial transcript posted by ESPN. “In my whole entire life, No Sir. That’s just not how we’re raised. As you can tell, like I said again, it’s the Bible belt. It’s just something that’s, I wouldn’t even say frowned upon, just something that’s nonexistent in most southern homes.”
Of course, Schefter, being sentient, then pointed to the presence of photographs of his accuser’s injuries.
“I will stop you there and say that I didn’t say that I didn’t do anything wrong,” Hardy said. “That situation occurred and that situation was handled but … saying that I did nothing wrong is a stretch but saying I am innocent is correct. Yes sir.”
Hardy then denied putting his hands on the woman.
It was similar to the post-arrest interview he did upon entering Panthers camp in 2014, when he made jokes about how the media attention was good for his marketing efforts. And the Cowboys were clearly exasperated with his act last year, with coach Jason Garrett dropping the mic at the Combine when asked about the free agent.
Of course, the Cowboys were willing to take a chance on him last year, because they needed pass-rushers and he was perceived to be a good one. But he responded with 6.0 sacks in 12 games last year, and only 1.5 of those after Thanksgiving.
It follows a pattern in his career, actually. Other than a 7.0-sack burst in the final two games of the 2013 season (which was a salary drive which preceded the franchise tag), Hardy has 33.0 sacks in his other 73 career games.
Many people have deemed him not worth the headaches because of that. This interview will likely not change that.