Kevin Hardy Visits the Cowboys

LB Kevin Hardy visited the Cowboys Thursday afternoon and evening. Here is the latest on what has transpired up to this point, as well as our overall analysis of the situation. Hardy is a former pro bowl linebacker with the Jaguars.

If you are looking at the Dallas Cowboys' offseason moves up to this point, all you can say is so far, so good. Dallas has already signed free agent DT La'Roi Glover (Saints), TE Jeff Robinson (Rams), and CB Bryant Westbrook (Lions), and it appears that LB Kevin Hardy could be next.

Hardy visted Valley Ranch Thursday, and the early returns are nothing but positive. In fact, a deal could be reached within the next couple of days- pending on the length of the contract. Jerry Jones wants to sign the free agent linebacker for either a one or two year deal, while Hardy is looking for something a little longer.

Hardy suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and was cut by Jacksonville for salary cap reasons after six years of service in the AFC Central. In 9 games last season, he registered 58 solo tackles and 5.5 sacks. As a pro-bowl performer in 1999 Hardy led the Jaguars with 10.5 sacks.

The free agent ride for Kevin has been going on now for the last week or so. He has already visited the Pittsburgh Steelers and he is supposed to be in Baltimore this weekend to speak with the Ravens.

Kevin had dinner Thursday night with linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and strong safety Darren Woodson. He also spent a good bit of the day reviewing film and talking with several members of the Cowboys' organization. Hardy is expected to meet with Jerry Jones one more time Friday morning.

The result of that conversation will likely go a long way in determining whether or not Hardy becomes a Cowboy. Dallas still has over 5.5 million to spend on free agency this year, so it goes without saying that money should not be the issue. It will likely all boil down to the length of the contract.

Hardy is a solid all-around defender who can effectively rush the passer, cover slot receivers, and stop the run with authority. If he signs, he'll compete for the starting strong side linebacker spot with Markus Steele. How well he competes is another story. That will depend on how he recovers from his injury suffered in the ninth game of the regular season last year. It was diagnosed as a cartilage tear just below the femur bone.

"I have every indication that I will be able to return to 100 percent," said Hardy. "Its been just overthree months now and I'm feeling good. I've just now been doing some light jogging and it's been real positive."

We'll have more on this situation as news develops Friday.

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