IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys added veteran depth to their defensive line Thursday, signing defensive end Anthony Hargrove to a one-year deal – just one year removed from his role in the Saints' bounty investigation.
Dallas will be Hargrove's seventh stop in a star-crossed seven-year career that has seen him face a one-year suspension in 2008 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, as well as a since-overturned eight-game suspension in 2012 for allegedly informing the league of attempts by the New Orleans Saints to cover up a team bounty program.
To make room on the 90-man roster, the Cowboys released guard D.J. Hall, who was signed this week after the three-day rookie minicamp. Hall spent last year on the Jaguars practice squad and impressed the Cowboys' coaches enough during the weekend to fill a roster spot. There is a chance the Cowboys could bring him back if a spot opens up.
Hargrove (6-3, 270), has 102 career games played with 25 starts, although he hasn't started a game since 2009 when he started six with the Saints on their run to Super Bowl XLIV.
The Brooklyn, New York, native was one of four Saints players, along with Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and Scott Fujita, to be handed a suspension for a role in the bounty program. Hargrove was suspended eight games – the second-longest player penalty, behind Vilma's full season ban – before the rulings were overturned in December. [embedded_ad]
Off-field issues resulted in Hargrove also receiving a four-game substance abuse suspension in 2007 before his eventual suspension for all of 2008. However, he was voted the Saints' representative for the Ed Block Courage Award for his comeback to the league after his suspension.
Hargrove bounced back in a big way in 2009, his best season as a pro. He recorded 40 total tackles, including five sacks and three fumble recoveries while playing 16 games with six starts, primarily from the defensive tackle position.
Hargrove played 15 games with Seattle in 2011, making 17 total tackles before his eventual suspension. Green Bay signed him in March of 2012, but he was released in August during final roster cuts – possibly as a precaution against his looming suspension.