By Barbara Harrison

For Eagles offensive linemen Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce, the Birds’ 33-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys last night had a subplot of special importance.

They were responsible for facing Cowboys’ defensive end Greg Hardy whose inflammatory rhetoric has pissed off lots of NFL fans, and not just women.

While the league and the NFL players’ union have declined to comment after photos of Hardy’s bruised ex-girlfriend from his expunged domestic-violence case were made public last week, Johnson and Kelce were outspoken after the Eagles’ overtime win.

“Any time I had a chance to put a little extra mustard on a block, I tried,” left tackle Johnson said, according to the Daily News. “He wasn’t all that emotional in the game. I guess he is in other games. I don’t know if the stuff got to him on the news, but he kind of seemed out of it a little bit.”

Though Hardy recorded the Cowboys’ lone sack, he was not a significant factor in the outcome of the game.

“I’m glad he didn’t have a good day,” center Kelce said, according to the DN. “It’s a joke a guy like that is able to play this quickly.”

The NFL originally suspended Hardy for 10 games for allegedly beating up his former girlfriend. The NFLPA appealed the punishment, and the suspension was reduced to four games. He has played in the Cowboys’ last four games, all losses.

The story took a turn last week when Deadspin obtained and published police photos of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend. The photos showed a young woman with bruises and abrasions.

“Three people I have zero respect for in this world,” Kelce said. “People who hit women, who molest children, and rapists.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett said Sunday they had not changed their views on Hardy in the wake of the photos’ release.

“Greg has a commitment to us. He has a commitment to do the right thing. We expect him to do the right thing,” Jones said.

Garrett addressed one question about Hardy but declined to answer three others.

“We decided we were giving him a second chance, but in doing so, the expectations and the standards we set would be very clear to him and how he and, really, everybody else is supposed to conduct themselves on the football field and off the football field,” Garrett said.

A source told ESPN’s Ed Werder that the NFL saw all of the police photos released Friday during a trip to North Carolina by NFL investigator Lisa Friel in April, before Hardy was suspended by the NFL. The source tells Werder that the NFL also sued the state of North Carolina for the right to view seven additional photos related to the incident.

In addition, a league source told Werder that at no time during the NFL’s investigation, nor through his suspension and appeal, did Hardy demonstrate any remorse for the incident.

The NFL would not comment on the photos Friday. The NFL Players Association hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

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