The Dallas Cowboys could be forced to square off with a familiar face this season as running back JaQuan Hardy is meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles. After the Cowboys released Hardy in July, the running back is drawing an interest from multiple teams including the Vikings and Eagles.
“The Vikings, who have one roster spot open, looked into bringing in RB JaQuan Hardy for a workout but a source said he’s going to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles,” St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson tweeted on July 24, 2022. “Hardy had four carries for 29 yards as a Dallas Cowboys rookie last season before being waived earlier this month.”
Hardy played in three games for the Cowboys during the 2021 season notching four carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. According to Heavy.com’s NFL insider Matt Lombardo, Hardy is working out with the Eagles but has yet to agree to contract terms with Philadelphia.
“Lots of reporting that the #Eagles are signing former #Cowboys RB JaQuan Hardy (@christomasson first on interest), I’m told per sources that Hardy is in Philadelphia, there is mutual interest, but no deal is signed. Yet,” Lombardo tweeted on July 25.
If Hardy joins the Eagles, the running back would face an uphill battle to make the final roster with Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott among the talented rushers already in Philadelphia.
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Can Pollard Unseat Elliott as the Cowboys RB1 in 2022?
Running back continues to be a position of strength in Dallas making Hardy the odd man out this offseason. One of the big questions heading into the season is how the Cowboys will utilize both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott. A strong argument can be made that Pollard looked like the more explosive running back in 2022, but the Cowboys opted to lean on Elliott as the team’s top rusher. One solution could be for the Cowboys to utilize Pollard more as a receiver just as the playmaker did during his collegiate career at Memphis.
“Much has been made of Elliott’s drop in production and how he finished last season, but few mention that he played the bulk of the season with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament,” ESPN’s Todd Archer wrote on July 24. “Before getting injured, Elliott looked like he could contend for a rushing title.
“The goal for the Cowboys should be to maximize Pollard’s touches and they can do that without minimizing Elliott’s impact on the offense. Pollard played more receiver in college than running back. The Cowboys have questions at receiver with Gallup’s injury and untested depth. Pollard will have to show he can run multiple routes, but if he can, that should increase his touches and his fantasy value.”
Will the Cowboys Make Another Significant Roster Move Before the Season Starts?
The Cowboys appear poised to begin training camp without making any more major moves. Dallas has been quiet since the draft ended in April but could sign a veteran once camp is underway as they did with Malik Hooker in 2021. The Athletic’s Jon Machota believes the buzz about the Cowboys’ interest in adding Vikings free-agent linebacker Anthony Barr is real.
“I just wanted to add that until Anthony Barr signs with another team, keep the former Minnesota Viking linebacker on your radar,” Machota wrote on July 25. “There’s certainly interest from the Cowboys. Maybe they add him while we’re at camp.”