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Dallas Cowboys Draft News: Greg Hardy Could Stop Team From Selecting Top Pass Rusher [VIDEO]

Greg Archuleta
By Greg Archuleta @GeigaSr
on Feb 29, 2016 02:51 AM EST
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Greg Hardy may be the problem that keeps on troubling the Dallas Cowboys after he's gone.

Dallas must determine whether to draft red-flagged pass rusher Noah Spence with the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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No, the Dallas Morning News says, based on the Cowboys' rehabilitation efforts in 2015.

"The Cowboys are in dire need of a pass rush, and the best pass rusher in this draft will be there for the taking at No. 4, the Dallas Morning News reported.

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"But the Cowboys can't take him. They must let Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky slide. They have little choice -- not after the Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory debacles of 2015."

The Cowboys are expected to pass on re-signing Hardy, the embattled defensive end, who fell short of the team's hopes for a successful reclamation project. Hardy, who missed 2014 because of a domestic violence conviction and subsequent release from the Carolina Panthers, signed with the Cowboys despite starting 2015 with a four-game suspension.

Dallas hoped he would bolster its defense with his pass-rushing prowess. Instead, he created further off-the-field turmoil, was habitually late for team meetings and performed with mediocre results on the field.

Exacerbating the failed experiment with Hardy is the fact that the Cowboys' other high risk/high reward defensive line acquisition, rookie Randy Gregory, the Nebraska defensive end who failed a marijuana test at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, recently drew a four-game suspension for a violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

So now Dallas is right back where it started last preseason, needing a pass rusher in the worst way to bolster a defense that can help the team return as playoff contenders.

Enter Eastern Kentucky's Spence. He had 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in becoming the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year in his only year at EKU.

He spent only one year at Eastern Kentucky because he was at Ohio State for two years before being declared permanently ineligible in the Big Ten after his sophomore season because of two failed drug tests.

He was All-Big Ten as a sophomore in 2013.

On May of 2015, Spence was arrested for public intoxication, according to the Richmond Register.

Now, you see the Cowboys' dilemma.

"The Cowboys aren't likely to re-sign Hardy, and Gregory already has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy," the Dallas Morning News added. "Two mighty swings by the Cowboys to improve their pass rush a year ago have resulted in a strikeout.

"Which brings us to Spence. He also has baggage. Too much baggage for the Cowboys to risk at this high a draft pick."

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