The Dallas Cowboys signed veteran free agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove on Thursday. The one year deal was worth $840,000, the veteran minimum. It is still unknown if Hargrove will be able to contribute to the Cowboys defensive line, but here are five things every Cowboy fan should know about the defensive journeyman anyway.
5. Hargrove has been around the block.
Hargrove was drafted out of Georgia Tech by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He spent two and a half years there before being traded mid-season to the Buffalo Bills. After another year as a Bill, Hargrove moved on New Orleans. After two more years and a Super Bowl ring with the Saints, he signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. Hargrove was released by the Eagles during their final roster cuts and then picked up by the Seattle Seahawks. After the season, he drifted on over to the Green Bay Packers, but was once again cut in the pre-season. After a year out of football, Hargrove has now landed in Big D.
4. Hargrove has had his share of suspensions.
In his final season with the Rams, Hargrove was mysteriously traded mid-season after an unexplained two day absence and a short stint on the inactive list. He started his first full season with the Bills by serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Hargrove was suspended for the entire 2008 season for more alleged failed drug tests. From 2009-2011, he played for the Saints. This is where Hargrove became one of the ringleaders in the infamous Bounty Scandal which caused him to be suspended by the NFL for the first eight games of the 2012 NFL season.
3. Hargrove ended Johnny Knox’s career.
During a mid-December game against the Chicago Bears in 2011, the then Seattle Seahawks’ defenseman collided with third year wideout Knox during a fumble recovery. The young promising receiver suffered a devastating spinal injury on the play that would eventually cause him to retire. To this day Knox walks with a limp and is unable to stand up straight without feeling pain. The only time Knox is not in pain is when he’s lying down.
You can watch the gut-wrenching play here:
2. Hargrove is a survivor of several personal tragedies.
At the age of six, Hargrove’s mother and two of his four siblings survived a devastating house fire. But the tragedy left them on the streets. Hargrove moved between homeless shelters and foster homes until the death of his mother due to AIDS. He was only nine years old at the time. His older brother Terence was stabbed to death in Florida in 2011. Hargrove began abusing drugs during his first two seasons in the NFL. After his 2008 year long suspension, Hargrove spent a year in two different treatment centers. In 2009, he was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award by his Saints’ teammates as a role model of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage.
1. Hargrove’s stats are not that impressive.
Hargrove had his best statical season in 2006 racking up 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Those stats are greater then what he managed to produce in the next three seasons…combined! In 2009, then Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams moved Hargrove from defensive end to defensive tackle. The move not only re-invigorated his career, but led to Hargrove’s second best statical season with 42 tackles and 5 sacks. He also scored a defensive touchdown that season which played a vital part in New Orleans winning the Super Bowl.
But you can throw all the stats out the window when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. Hargrove will be 30 years old when the season starts. After a year of rust, exactly how much gas will he have left in the tank? Only time will tell. But if the pattern continues, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Hargrove is cut during the pre-season.