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Jerry Jones: Cowboys did their due diligence before signing Greg Hardy

The Dallas Cowboys took an arguable risk by signing Greg Hardy to a one-year, incentive-based deal on Wednesday. But according to team owner Jerry Jones, the decision to bring in the former Carolina Panthers defensive end was also a calculated move involving serious thought and consideration.

Perhaps sensing that the signing of Hardy, in light of his off-the-field issues, may be met with skepticism or even hostility, Jones issued a statement soon after the deal was finalized in which he addressed how the team did its due diligence before bringing in the talented but controversial player. Jones indicated that much research was done regarding the issue of domestic violence and how it obviously relates to Hardy’s situation.

Referring to Hardy as a “proven and experienced player” and how he fits into the team’s defensive scheme, Jones then attempted to explain how the Cowboys arrived at the decision to sign the defensive end, but not without careful consideration (via Cowboys.com):

“We have spent a great deal of time over the last two days in meeting with Greg directly and gaining a solid understanding of what he is all about as a person and as a football player.  A thorough background review of him, involving many elements of our organization, has been ongoing for the last few weeks.

“Obviously a great deal of our study was dedicated to the issue of domestic violence, and the recent events that associated Greg with that issue.  We know that Greg’s status remains under review by the National Football League.

“Our organization understands the very serious nature of domestic violence in our society and in our league.  We know that Greg has a firm understanding of those issues as well.”

Hardy currently remains on the Commissioner’s Exempt List as a result of his domestic violence case in which he was accused of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. Hardy originally was found guilty but charges were later dropped on appeal after Holder refused to cooperate with authorities, presumably in light of a reported civil settlement reached between herself and Hardy.

A former teammate of Hardy’s with the Carolina Panthers recently said the extremely talented lineman was a “nightmare” for opponents but also could be “unmanageable” at times. And yet, he indicated Hardy deserves a second chance. The Cowboys just provided him with just that.

(image credit: AP Photo/Bob Leverone)