Cowboys + Hardy: 'On Radar' As 2nd-Tier Buy
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Our own Mike Fisher on 105.3 The Fan on Monday morning reports that the Dallas Cowboys are now "in'' on the pursuit of Greg Hardy, the gifted free-agent defensive end with the domestic-violence issue.
What changed from last week, when CowboysHQ.com was issued a very clear "no'' on the idea of Hardy-to-Dallas?
"Second-tier'' means "second chances.''
As Fish writes, "A lot of sacks but a lot of baggage. Their position has changed, sources telling 105.3 The Fan that Dallas now has Hardy "under consideration.''
Hardy is a stud. He recorded 15 sacks in 2013 for the Carolina Panthers, is 6-4 and 275 and just 26 years old, and first everything Dallas does. Is there a point where the price is so low that the baggage becomes tolerable?
Obviously -- because suddenly, that's exactly what's happening at Valley Ranch at this moment.
Why Andrew Gachkar? Well, why not? After losing special teams ace Dwayne Harris to the New York Giants, the Cowboys needed to fill the void left at special teams while also stocking the shelves at linebacker.
Gachkar racked up 14 special-teams tackles in 2014, tied for the 14th-most in the league. It's what he did for Rich Bisaccia in 2011 when the Chargers drafted Gachkar in the seventh and head coach Norv Turner played him all 16 games. The only other Charger who had more special teams tackles than Gachkar's 12 in '11 was future Cowboy C.J. Spillman with 18.
"Rich kind of drafted me and bring me into the NFL," Gachkar told CowboysHQ.
Was it really Bisaccia who wanted Gachkar in Dallas, or did his former college defensive coordinator, Matt Eberflus, want the Overland Park Blue Valley star to come to Valley Ranch?
"Honestly, equally, they're very important people in my decision coming to Dallas," Gachkar said. "Eberflus brought me up and is kind of like a dad to me. Coach Eberflus, he was with me at Mizzou, and I love the way he coaches and his intensity and everything like that."
Dallas can certainly use his services at linebacker with the departure of Justin Durant to the Falcons, Bruce Carter to the Buccaneers, and the uncertainty of Rolando McClain. Gachkar started five out of 15 games last season with the Chargers, recording a sack and also returning a fumble recovery for a 13-yard touchdown.
For the past four pro seasons, Gachkar has played in the 3-4 defense. Can he get back to his old college-day familiarity with the 4-3 under Eberflus?
Said Gachkar: "Learning to play a 4-3 again, it's a task, but I don't think it'll be too hard. I spent four years in college. We played the 4-3, and coming to the NFL to play in the 3-4 was an adjustment itself."
Poor Andrew had to wait three hours on the tarmac at Logan International in Boston waiting for his flight to take off due to the snow blasting the Northeast. However, the excitement of coming to Big D sustained him.
"I was excited to get here, and I was texting my wife the whole time on the plane," Gachkar said. "Talking about the excitement of being in Dallas where she's from. So, it's awesome."
*How the Cowboys will cash in on compensatory picks for this spring's losses. Great work by KD here.
*The Cowboys didn't tender cornerback Sterling Moore. They have claimed cornerback Corey White off waivers from New Orleans, where he started nine games in 2014 before losing his first-team job and ending up playing some safety. Do you like Moore better than White? Or does it matter that the Marinellis and the McClays like White better than Moore?
*Here's the "why'' of Dallas' signing of Darren McFadden. ... to a deal that includes a 2015 salary of what we're told is just $900,000. Heads-up here: What if McFadden isn't meant as DeMarco's replacement, but rather the replacement for any backup runner who happens to put his fist through a windshield? Dallas has also signed middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley and fullbacks Jed Collins and Ray Agnew.
*And speaking of running backs: There is simply no logic to Dallas being "out'' on an Adrian Peterson deal until their "out.'' The guaranteed-money demands, the trade demands, the other bidders ... factors all. But why would a runner back out of a race -- no matter how unlikely a win -- before the race even begins? We detail some truths about AD and Dallas here.
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