NFC East Q&A: Cowboys worse without Hardy on field, better without disruption

Today's question: Are the Dallas Cowboys better or worse without Greg Hardy?

Dan Graziano, New York Giants reporter: They're better OFF, but not better. Which is to say it was the right decision to let Hardy go but the wrong decision not to do more to try to find pass-rushers to replace him. I know Hardy didn't perform at a high level last year and that's one of the main reasons he's gone. But with Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence facing suspensions to start the year, the Cowboys needed at least one more body to replace Hardy at defensive end, and they didn't do enough to fill that void. So while the Cowboys' locker room and meeting rooms might be more pleasant places to be with Hardy gone, he leaves behind a lot of questions about who's going to sack quarterbacks for them.

Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Eagles reporter: Talent-wise, I think the Cowboys are worse without Greg Hardy. Whatever else you say about him, the man is a pretty good football player. Hardy had one of his six sacks in his only game against the Eagles last season, so I guess I came away impressed. But overall, I think the Cowboys will be better off. Any player that disrupts team chemistry is a problem. I covered the Eagles through the Terrell Owens debacle, and I know, Todd, that you covered him in Dallas. The Eagles weren't a more talented team without Owens the wide receiver, but they were better overall without Owens the disruption.

John Keim, Washington Redskins reporter: Better from a distraction standpoint. But the Cowboys still lack a pass-rush and miss what a guy with Hardy's talent can do. The problem is Hardy didn't give them a whole lot last year and was not the same player he was in Carolina. Against the Redskins in the regular-season finale, Hardy needed two sacks to receive a $500,000 bonus. With left tackle Trent Williams sidelined that day, all Hardy had to do was beat backup Ty Nsekhe, but he was shut down. From afar, and strictly from a football standpoint, Hardy seemed to have other issues in terms of being a professional. So to me, they've rid themselves of a distraction and an underperforming big name. Their real issue is losing Demarcus Lawrence (who seemed to play well) and Randy Gregory (who had little impact) to suspensions. Dallas needs more defensive talent, but not Hardy. It'll also be tough to measure his loss considering quarterback Tony Romo is back and running back Ezekiel Elliott could have a big impact, allowing Dallas to play like they did in 2014, focusing on ball control and an opportunistic defense to make up for a lack of big-time talent.