As the Dallas Cowboys are being linked to a major free agent, one of their former ball carriers is being linked to a return to the New Orleans Saints.
Former Cowboys running back JaQuan Hardy, who is looking for a new team to play for, received a workout from the New Orleans Saints on November 8, according to the NFL waiver wire. Meanwhile, Cowboys’ pursuit of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. appears to be moving closer to a climax regarding whether he joins Dallas or spurns the 6-2 team for another Super Bowl contender.
Hardy entered the NFL with the Cowboys and is still searching for stable footing in his second year in the league. However, the odds are currently not in Hardy’s favor when it comes to the Saints because the NFC South squad appears to be signing former Kansas City Chiefs RB Derrick Gore.
“Saints are signing Derrick Gore, per source. He was with Kansas City last year. Carried 51 times for 256 yards and had eight catches for 105 yards,” NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill tweeted not long after the workouts were announced. The Saints’ signing of Gore doesn’t necessarily mean Hardy isn’t still in the running to sign with New Orleans.
Hardy Starts NFL Career in Dallas
After a college career at Tiffin and not much NFL hype, Hardy was gunning for an undrafted free agent spot in 2021. Fortunately for the 24-year-old running back, the Cowboys saw something worth investing in after he went undrafted.
Initially, Hardy missed out on the team’s 53-man roster, but he worked his way onto the practice squad. Eventually, he made his NFL debut on December 12, 2021, against the Washington Football Team after Tony Pollard was injured. Hardy got one rushing attempt for 3 yards and a kick return for 15 yards.
The Cleveland native did get more opportunities in Weeks 15 and 17, but they were limited. In three games, Hardy ran the ball four times for 29 yards and even scored a touchdown, against the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the regular season.
However, Dallas elected to move on from Hardy in the offseason, and he signed to the Denver Broncos, who then released him before the regular season.
Cowboys May Rely on Backup RB Against Packers
While Hardy looks for a new home, Dallas is navigating an injury to starting RB Ezekiel Elliott. The veteran RB, who missed the 49-29 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 8, has had the past two weeks to recover.
But Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said he wasn’t certain that Elliott would play in Week 10 against the Green Bay Packers. According to the Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr., the Cowboys could sit Zeke if he is still on a “pitch count.”
“If Ezekiel Elliott is on a pitch count, he may not play against the Packers, per Mike McCarthy. They will monitor him during the week,” Hill Jr. tweeted on November 9.
If not having Elliott appears to be a loss, Dallas fans will be quick to point to Tony Pollard and his three-touchdown performance against the Bears.