IRVING, Texas– As he prepares for his Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony on Aug. 8, Class of 2015 inductee Charles Haley has stopped by Valley Ranch this offseason to visit his former team.
The retired All-Pro pass rusher watched defensive end Greg Hardy practice during offseason workouts and concluded "he's the hardest working guy that I've seen in a long time other than me."
"I think he's going to be very impactful in this season," Haley said Thursday in an NFL media conference call leading into the Aug. 6-9 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.
The Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year contract in March for his ability to pressure the quarterback. A 2013 Pro Bowler with 15 sacks as a member of the Carolina Panthers, Hardy's looking for a fresh start in Dallas as he faces a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league.
In 1992, Haley found a new home with the Cowboys after a falling out with San Francisco 49ers management that gave him a reputation as a locker room malcontent.
"Jerry Jones picked me up from the airport and he gave him his vision for what he wanted for his team," Haley recalled after he was traded to Dallas.
The result was three Super Bowls in four years with Haley as the dominant edge rusher the Cowboys needed. Haley's five career titles (including two with the 49ers) still stand as an individual NFL record.
A fourth-round pick by the 49ers in 1986, Haley collected 100.5 sacks in 12 NFL seasons with San Francisco and Dallas.
Former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., will present Haley at his induction, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame website, but Haley's relationship with the Cowboys organization is strong. The club inducted him into its exclusive Ring of Honor in 2011.
"Jerry and Stephen (Jones) and all those guys, they open their arms up to me," Haley said.