Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a statement Friday night after pictures emerged showing the injuries sustained by Nicole Holder during an alleged domestic violence incident with her former boyfriend, Greg Hardy.
“While we did not have access to the photos that became public today, we were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident,” said Jones. “We as an organization take this very seriously. We do not condone domestic violence. We entered into the agreement with Greg fully understanding that there would be scrutiny and criticism. We have given Greg a second chance. He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career.”
Hardy was convicted on domestic violence charges in 2014. He appealed, and the case was later thrown out after Holder stopped cooperating with authorities. Holder and Hardy reportedly agreed to a settlement.
The charges have since been expunged from Hardy’s record, according to a report.
The former Panther was placed on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list last September. He signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys this offseason worth north of $11 million. Hardy was originally suspended by the league for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, but that was knocked down to four games following appeal.
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A source tells 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 tells 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 Cowboys, meanwhile, did not have access to the photos at the time they signed Hardy, owner Jerry Jones confirmed in a statement Friday night.
Jones called Hardy one of the “real leaders of this team” following a loss to the Giants in late October. Hardy was animated on the sidelines after a Giants kick return for a touchdown and appeared to swipe at the clipboard of a special teams coach.
Despite appearing in just three games, Hardy is the Cowboys’ co-leader in sacks (3) to go with an interception and a forced fumble. As of now, it appears he’ll be in uniform against the Eagles on Sunday night.