Ex-Cowboys RB in Free Agency Talks with Texans: Report

JaQuan Hardy

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys running back JaQuan Hardy avoids a tackler during an NFL game.

As the Dallas Cowboys‘ potential pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr. continues, it appears as if a former Dallas star could be pursuing a new home with the Houston Texans.

Dallas has its own running back issues as well, nursing starting RB Ezekiel Elliott back to health after the veteran has missed the past two games. But the team has its solution in Tony Pollard and Malik Davis, while the Texans are looking to JaQuan Hardy as a potential solution for their group.

Hardy, as Cowboys fans will remember, was a part of the Dallas roster in 2021 as a special teams tool and depth option as a ball carrier. However, the former Dallas RB is without a team and has been for the majority of 2022.

But according to the NFL waiver wire, that could change. Hardy worked out for the Texans on November 15, but has not signed with the AFC South franchise at the time of writing.

Hardy’s workout with Houston comes not long after his workout with the New Orleans Saints, who elected to pass on the former Tiffin star in favor of Derrick Gore.

Hardy’s Time in Dallas

Hardy played his college ball at Tiffin, which made it difficult to garner much NFL attention. The 24-year-old running back entered the 2021 NFL draft process with the aim of an undrafted free agent. That plan worked out, as the Cowboys liked what they saw from Hardy and signed him after the draft.

But making the initial roster didn’t mean he had made the final roster. Hardy was cut in preseason, but he earned his way onto the practice squad for the 2021 season. Biding his time and putting in work in practice led to his NFL debut on December 12, 2021.

An injury to Tony Pollard before the team’s second game against the Washington Football Team got Hardy on the gameday active list. As PFR shows, Hardy took one rushing attempt for 3 yards and a kick return for 15 yards.

The Ohio-born running back did get other chances later in the season, but they came few and far between. In three total appearances, Hardy took four handoffs for 29 yards and even scored a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 19 of 2021.

Cowboys Have Own Free Agency Pursuit

While Hardy and the Texans figure out if their futures involve each other, the Cowboys and OBJ are facing the same questions. The links between the two sides continue to heat up, but Beckham is yet to find a home in free agency.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even spoke directly to the process of signing the former New York Giants wide receiver.

“In this particular case, start by asking, ‘Why is it that you’re able to sign him?’” Jones said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “Well, it’s because we’re dealing with a situation where he is free. Free, but potentially very capable of helping a team right now win and play at a high level. That will tell you alone it is a rarefied set of circumstances, and those don’t just happen or this wouldn’t be possible.”

A player of Beckham’s ability is rare in itself, and the opportunity to sign a player of his caliber is even more unique. Now, it’s up to Jones and Dallas to make it happen.