Wednesday March 25th, 2015

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team carefully vetted Greg Hardy before signing him earlier this month, Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today reports.

The Cowboys signed Hardy to a one-year deal that could be worth up to $13.1 million, but includes no guaranteed money. He played just one game last season and is still on the commissioner’s exempt list after being found guilty of misdemeanor domestic violence.

After appealing his conviction, Hardy was set to stand trial in February, but the charges were dropped when the accuser couldn’t be found by prosecutors. The accuser reportedly received a cash payout to drop the charges.

• NFL files lawsuit seeking access Greg Hardy evidence

Garrett told reporters that the team did an “exhausting” amount of research about Hardy.

"We absolutely talked through the whole situation, very specifically. I asked him very specifically what happened, I asked him different questions," Garrett said Wednesday morning at the NFC coaches breakfast at the league's owners meeting.

Dallas sports anchor Dale Hansen previously called out the Cowboys for signing Hardy, saying the team "can’t possibly sink any lower ... they can’t fall from grace any more than they have."

Jerry Jones not concerned about Dez Bryant holding out

Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings also criticized the team for signing Hardy.

Hardy, 26, was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013 and had 26.0 sacks combined during his last two full seasons.

- Paul Palladino

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