Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has been suspended for the first 10 games of the 2015 NFL season for "conduct detrimental to the league." For the New York Giants, this means Hardy, who had 15 sacks and made the Pro Bowl with the Carolina Panthers in 2013, will not be in the lineup either time the Giants face the Cowboys if the 10-game ban stands. The Giants open the season in Dallas, then host the Cowboys Week 7 at MetLife Stadium.
Hardy played just one game for Carolina last season before sitting out the rest of the season after being found guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. Those charges were eventually dismissed when police could not find the woman, Nicole Solder, to testify.
From the NFL's press release announcing the suspension:
The NFL's investigation concluded that Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Nicole Holder in at least four instances. First, he used physical force against her which caused her to land in a bathtub. Second, he used physical force against her which caused her to land on a futon that was covered with at least four semi-automatic rifles. Third, he used physical force against her by placing his hands around Ms. Holder's neck and applying enough pressure to leave visible marks. And fourth, he used physical force to shove Ms. Holder against a wall in his apartment's entry hallway.
"The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet," Commissioner Goodell wrote. "The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy."
The Cowboys made the very questionable decision to sign Hardy to a one-year, $11.3 million free-agent contract during the offseason. He has three days to appeal the suspension. He almost certainly will, and it will be interesting to see what happens at that point.