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Cowboys’ Hardy in altercation with teammate

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Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was involved in a verbal altercation with backup defensive lineman Davon Coleman at the team’s facility and reportedly had to be separated by teammates.

FOX Sports first reported the incident Friday following an on-field argument that took place on the final day of the first week of the Cowboys’ offseason program. ESPN.com later confirmed the report.

According to FOX, the dispute between the defensive linemen arose from Hardy’s questioning Coleman’s effort during conditioning drills. The situation escalated when, according to a source, Coleman took a dig at Hardy’s domestic violence issues.

“(Coleman) called him a woman-beater,” the source told FOX.

Coleman’s agent, Michael Loeffler, told ESPN the players didn’t need to be separated.

“There was no physical altercation of any nature whatsoever,” Loeffler said. “No physical contact, touching, nothing. Basically my understanding is that Davon and Greg Hardy finished a workout, had a discussion and there was nothing to step in to and nobody did because there was nothing going on except a discussion … I think it’s getting a little blown out of proportion.”

The Cowboys are in Phase 1 of the offseason program that focuses on strength and conditioning. Players can’t do any on-field work with their position coaches or coordinators until May 4.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the altercation at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting Friday, but he said he was not aware of the incident and would get more information before commenting.

On Wednesday, Hardy was suspended 10 games without pay for “conduct detrimental to the league.”

Hardy was notified in a letter from Goodell that he is suspended for the team’s first 10 games of the regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Hardy and the NFL Players Association plan to appeal the league’s ruling.

Hardy was informed that a two-month NFL investigation following the dismissal of his case in North Carolina state court determined that there was “sufficient credible evidence that Hardy engaged in conduct that violated NFL policies in multiple respects and with aggravating circumstances.”

In July 2014, the former Carolina Panthers defensive end was found guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend, Nicole Holder, and threatening to kill her. Hardy received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation on misdemeanor charges, and then he appealed the judge’s ruling in favor of a jury trial. The case was dismissed in February when Holder chose not to cooperate with authorities after reportedly receiving a settlement from Hardy.

The Cowboys signed the free agent Hardy on March 18 to an $11.3 million deal, but the contract has no signing bonus and includes no guaranteed money. Hardy has $9.25 million tied up in per-game roster bonuses, or $578,125 for each game active, and can attain additional bonuses tied to playing time and performance.

If the 10-game ban is upheld, Hardy’s first game back, the Cowboys’ 11th, would be Nov. 26 on Thanksgiving against his former team, the Panthers.

Hardy played only one game last season but received $13.1 million from Carolina. He was placed on the inactive roster in Week 2 and then put on the commissioner’s exempt list before Week 3. Hardy had 15 sacks with the Panthers in 2013 during his Pro Bowl season.

Coleman joined the Cowboys last year as an undrafted free agent and was a starter. He played in two games and was on the 53-man roster for 10 games before ending the season on the practice squad. He re-signed with the Cowboys after the season.


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