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Photos of Hardy domestic violence incident published

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  • By Around The NFL Staff NFL.com
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Deadspin.com released photo evidence Friday of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy's ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder that were taken within a day of when she said Hardy attacked her in 2014. According to the report, the photos were used in a 2014 bench trial following a domestic violence incident involving Hardy and Holder. Hardy was convicted of those charges last summer, but later saw those charges dropped upon appeal in February when Holder stopped cooperating with prosecutors.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed the photos released by Deadspin.com were among those reviewed by the NFL during its investigation, and contributed to the 10-game suspension the league levied against Hardy in April 2015. That suspension was later reduced to four games by an arbitrator following an appeal by the NFL Players Association. The photos show extensive bruising on Holder's back, legs and neck. Hardy was arrested on two misdemeanor charges in May of 2014: Assault on a female and communicating threats.

Hardy told NFL investigators that he was not responsible for the incident involving Holder, according to Rapoport. He claimed that she attacked him and that he protected himself. Hardy said she was drunk and fell down.

Before signing Hardy to a one-year contract in March, the Cowboys were not allowed to view the photo evidence of Holder, Rapoport reported Friday, per a source involved in the situation.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the following in a statement released by the team: "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. 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."

The NFLPA and Hardy's lawyers had no comment on the story. Hardy was in the Cowboys locker room Friday, but he chose not to speak to the media.

Hardy tweeted Saturday in response to the release of the photos:

Rapoport reported early Sunday that Hardy's status and playing time will not change for Dallas' game against Philadelphia.

The NFL placed Hardy on the Commissioner's Exempt list on Sept. 17, 2014 (when he was a member of the Carolina Panthers) before his eventual suspension in April. The NFLPA appealed the 10-game suspension on Hardy's behalf to arbitrator Harold Henderson, who reduced the suspension to four games.

"The NFL's investigation concluded that Hardy violated the Personal Conduct Policy by using physical force against Nicole Holder in at least four instances," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's NFL statement on Hardy's suspension said in April. "The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet.

"The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy."

The Charlotte Observer, meanwhile, reported Thursday that the domestic violence charges against Hardy were officially expunged.

Hardy has played in three games this season since returning from suspension.

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