Greg Hardy, Dez Bryant have words on sideline after DE's special-teams tirade

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy and injured receiver Dez Bryant, who was not dressed for the game, appeared to get into an animated verbal exchange on the sideline during Sunday's 27-20 loss to theGiants.

Hardy's intense discussion with Bryant followed immediately after he broke into the special-teams huddle to berate his teammates after they gave up 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' victory, Hardy broke into the subsequent special-teams huddle before New York kicked off with 7:01 remaining.

SafetyDanny McCray, a member of the unit, said the passionate Hardy even "pushed me a little bit."

NBC television footage later aired showing Hardy confronting a coach Pro Football Talk identified as special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia and getting into an angry shouting match with him and swiping at a clipboard Bisaccia was holding.

ESPN's Josina Anderson caught up with Bryant in the MetLife Stadium tunnel after the game and asked him about his heated exchange with Hardy.

"There is no issue," Bryant said. "That's just football. People want to make nothing into something, especially when we lose. That's just football."

Hardy, when asked about it after the game, issued a half-dozen "no comments" to questions in the locker room, then turned his back to the media.

"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 that he thought Hardy was attempting to encourage the special-teams unit. However, the reactions from those in the huddle would seem to indicate otherwise. Regardless, Garrett was not concerned about the incident.

"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.''

Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said after the game he did not see the altercation, but when it was described to him he had no issue with it.

"As a matter of fact, I would encourage it," Jones said.

A coach appeared to shove Hardy out of the huddle before he got involved with a couple of other players.

"He's of course one of the real leaders on this team and he earns it," Jones said of Hardy. "He earns it with the respect from all of his teammates. That's the kind of thing that inspires. You watched him warm up out there and he was inspirational ... nothing but warming up. He was ready to play. He's just getting guys ready to play, in my view. I don't have any issue with him being involved in motivating or pushing in any part of the football team because he plays and walks the walk."

Hardy is in his first season with Dallas and missed the first four games while suspended under the NFL's personal conduct policy. Hardy played only one game for theCarolina Panthersin 2014 and spent the rest of the season 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.

Information from ESPN's Todd Archer and Jean-Jacques Taylor and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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