-- IRVING, Texas -- With the Dallas Cowboys' season opener four days away, defensive end Greg Hardy has elected to not seek the court's help in gaining a further reduction of his suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
"While I am terribly disappointed to miss the first four games of this season, I am absolutely determined that my issue is not going to be a distraction for the Cowboys," Hardy said in a statement through the NFL Players Association. "I have enormous affection and respect for everyone here, and having seen the impact a court case can have on an NFL organization, I believe it is in the team's best interest for me to announce that I will not pursue any further litigation. Everything I do from this point on will be designed to bring glory and pride to my family, their family and this team."
In July, Hardy saw his 10-game suspension reduced to four games by arbitrator Harold Henderson, who ruled the penalty was too harsh when the baseline for cases under the personal conduct policy is a six-game suspension.
The NFL initially suspended Hardy in April for what it deemed to be multiple violations of the league's personal conduct policy during a spring 2014 incident with Hardy's former girlfriend. The charges against Hardy, who was with the Carolina Panthers at the time, were eventually dismissed after the ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, refused to cooperate with the Mecklenburg (North Carolina) County district attorney's office.
Per terms of the suspension, Hardy cannot be around the team until Oct. 5. He will be eligible to play Oct. 11 against the Patriots.
In March, the Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year deal worth up to $13.2 million. The deal contained no guaranteed money. By accepting the suspension, Hardy will lose almost $2.5 million in base salary and per-game roster bonuses.
Without Hardy, the Cowboys will start Jeremy Mincey at right defensive end.
"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," said Mincey, who led the Cowboys with six sacks last year. "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."