Before you decide that Dawn has gone around the bend and lost touch with reality, stop and think of how much improvement in the pass rush has occurred by the fact that Greg Hardy has been in training camp with the rest of the Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen. The former Carolina Panthers defensive end quickly established himself as a leader among Rod Marinelli's Merry Band of Rushmen, and neither he nor they have bothered to look back. Hardy may be forced to set out the first four weeks on the NFL season but that does not mean that his efforts are not being directed toward the Cowboys early success.
The rushmen will miss his physical presence on the field, but they also know that the Dallas pass rush is more than just Hardy.
"We've been playing the next man up since I can remember and we just got to focus on what we have here now and we can't worry about Greg. We've got to wait until Greg gets in and get prepared with what we have. We have a lot of talent and we have a lot of ways to make some things happen defensively." - Jeremy Mincey
Excuses will not cut it in the meeting rooms or on the field. The next man up will be expected to stand and deliver. With names like DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, the talent is there and the work has been put in to develop that talent. All that remains is for the group to hold themselves accountable for getting the job done.
That is where Greg Hardy slips back into the picture. Roger Goodell may have the power to force him off the field for the opening quarter of the season, but the commissioner cannot stop Hardy from watching his television or from expressing his opinions. The younger members of the Merry Band know that their leader will be doing plenty of both at every opportunity.
"We're definitely going to miss him out there, but we know he's going to be watching and he's going to be critiquing us as soon as we get done. He's going to be giving us what we did wrong and praise for what we did right. It's going to be good to get him back though." - Tyrone Crawford
Hardy has brought his own style of action to the Dallas Cowboys and it will be on display through the actions of his colleagues at first. According to Crawford, Hardy's intensity is what has impacted the team the most. He is relentless in his pursuit of the football and he will accept nothing less from those around him. He has brought a renewed energy to the defensive unit.
That is what leaders do, it is how they make those around them better. Greg Hardy will not be able to get in the face of Eli Manning on Sunday night, but you can be certain that he has a message that will be passed on to the Giants passer in a way that will be difficult for anyone to misinterpret.
The Kracken is back in the league and it is time to feast on quarterbacks. Greg might miss the appetizer, but come the game with the New England Patriots he will be ready for the main course.