When the Dallas Cowboys made the signing of former Carolina Panthers Pro Bowler Greg Hardy last week they did so aware that the defensive end may miss time at the start of the 2015 season through suspension.
Reports today however suggest that the time Hardy faces on the sidelines may well be far longer than first anticipated by the Cowboys front office who took a leap of faith to bring in the controversial star on a one-year deal in the first place.
Fox radio host and WTXF-TV sports director Howard Eskin, per NFL sources, revealed that Hardy is facing up to missing as many as 12 games of the upcoming campaign as part of the NFL's new policy overhaul.
As alluded to above, the Cowboys are expecting some sort of suspension to be handed down to Greg Hardy, who missed all but one game in 2014 as he challenged a domestic assault charge. But the franchise were believed to be anticipating a punishment of between two and four games rather than what could end up being three quarters of the regular season.
We won't know exactly how long Hardy will have to wait to make his Cowboys debut but this latest update certainly doesn't bode well for the 2013 Pro Bowler.
Fortunately for Dallas, while they will not want to be without what could be a key player on the defensive side of the ball, the one-year deal they offered Hardy did make allowances for a potential suspension.
In reality then, the majority of the $13.1 million heading Hardy's way only makes it into the player's bank account if he is part of the team's 53 man active roster come game day.
Unfortunately, should the NFL impose the 12 penalty that is clearly on their minds, the Cowboys can do nothing about losing his unquestionable footballing talents on said game days.
Having allowed two-year stalwart George Selvie to depart for the New York Giants the Cowboys were relying on Hardy to impose himself at defensive end. 27 sacks in his past 32 NFL games shows that he is more than capable of doing that when he is on the gridiron.
The suspension for Greg Hardy would come under the NFL's new guidelines against domestic abuse introduced last year. He spent 15 out of 16 games last season on the Commissioners Exempt List while he awaited trial regarding an alleged assault/communicating threats to his then-girlfriend.
The case was ultimately dropped after the alleged victim failed to show up to the trial.
What do you think Cowboys fans? Could the team cope with a 12 game suspension, and would it be justified? Let us know in the comments section below...