The Cowboys used Tuesday to get to know Hardy, and the defensive end spent the night in Dallas. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday Hardy was originally set to decide between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay no longer is in the mix. If no other suitors jump in, Hardy will join the Cowboys assuming the two come to an agreement, per Rapoport.
Hardy remains on the Commissioner's Exempt List, but is allowed to negotiate and potentially sign a contract. The NFL will decide if it will levy any punishment on Hardy after domestic violence charges against him, stemming from a 2014 summer conviction, were dismissed last month after North Carolina prosecutors said the accuser in the case couldn't be found.
Jerry Jones has never shied away from bringing on players with plenty of baggage, so his meeting with Hardy shouldn't come as a shock.
In the 26-year-old Hardy, the Cowboys would be getting a player who compiled 26 sacks over 31 games between 2012 and 2013. If he were not embroiled in a domestic violence issue, the defensive end would have long been off the market and one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL.
The Cowboys need to upgrade a pass rush, and Jones could decide the former Pro Bowler is worth the public relations risk after meeting on Tuesday. Hardy would pair nicely on the field with second-round rusher Demarcus Lawrence. It's the off-field issues -- including possible suspension -- that Jones will have to sort through.