Dallas Cowboys: Are they playing the long game with JaQuan Hardy?

Dallas Cowboys, JaQuan Hardy(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys, JaQuan Hardy(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t sign running back and one of the stars of HBO’s Hard Knocks, JaQuan Hardy, to the regular season roster. However, coming back to the practice squad, he won’t be leaving the Cowboys organization.

While that is and was the news, in itself, it seems much deeper than what it appears to be on the surface if you actually think about it. So… think about it?

With the third back, Rico Dowdle, done for the year, it presented an interesting scenario for the Cowboys, needing another back to fill out the room. To that area of need, they then, went out and signed a veteran runner in Corey Clement.

At this point, it all seems complicated, right? How does any of it, at all, lead back to Hardy?

Well, continue to follow.

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t keep JaQuan Hardy on the 53-man roster but that doesn’t mean he’s done in Dallas

With Clement, you have a guy that you, kind of, already know what he is in the league. While you would like to get a good look at him for yourself as an organization, to see what he has or simply as the depth he was signed to be, he isn’t necessarily for long in the organization, one would imagine.

This is where things get even stickier. Who says Clement makes it through the season or further than that… more than a couple of weeks with the team? Also and even if Clement sticks around, who says another injury doesn’t happen among the backs (lord forbid)? That would create an instant need and a hole for a guy like Hardy.

Of course, though, it gets even deeper. Per the rules of the NFL, they can bring along two practice squad players to each game, making the active roster on game day 55, including those two players.

On keeping him that way, you sign Hardy to the practice squad because he would actually take that role, while a veteran like Clement would have taken another job elsewhere. In Clement’s case, it’s obvious as to why that’s the case but for Hardy, he chose to sign with Dallas’s practice squad over other opportunities, so there is something there about it all.

Be that a familiarity, a desire to be there, or a wink and a nod type situation where something in the aforementioned spew or along the lines of some promised opportunity is present, something is probably there.

Even if they could land another veteran for the practice squad, keeping Hardy on the regular roster and just to play devil’s advocate, keeping Hardy on the practice squad is cheaper because of his accrued time in the league.

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These types of situations are always about semantics, syntax, and what makes the most contractual or language-oriented sense for the organization, from a CBA-Logistics perspective, but there is one thing for certain. Based on everything we know and the way it has all played out, it appears that the Cowboys are playing the long game in the case of running back, JaQuan Hardy.