Cowboys agree to terms with Greg Hardy

Irving, TX ( - The Dallas Cowboys agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year contract with free-agent defensive end Greg Hardy, whose 2014 season was cut short because of a domestic violence case.

The sides reached a deal after Hardy visited the Cowboys facility on Tuesday afternoon and stayed overnight, according to the team's official website.

Hardy agreed to an $11.3 million deal that could be worth up to $13.1 million, according to ESPN.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement that Hardy's incentive-based agreement is "heavily weighted" toward his participation in games -- a necessary wrinkle, perhaps, given that Hardy could be suspended by the NFL at any time.

Jones said the Cowboys spent time talking to Hardy over two days and that a background check on him "has been ongoing for the last few weeks."

Domestic abuse charges against Hardy were dismissed last month after the alleged victim did not appear to testify. Hardy was found guilty by a judge last July but appealed the decision, asking for a jury trial.

According to court papers, the alleged victim never made herself available to the Mecklenburg County district attorney's office to prepare for trial and law enforcement officials were unable to locate her to serve a subpoena.

The prosecution said it had reliable information she had reached a civil settlement with Hardy.

According to police, Hardy assaulted his then-girlfriend and threatened to kill her during an altercation last May. The woman said he choked her with both hands around her throat and threw her onto a couch covered with assault rifles and shotguns. She said Hardy told her all the weapons were loaded.

Hardy was initially convicted of two misdemeanors -- assault on a female and communicating threats. He was placed on the commissioner's exempt list in September after playing in Carolina's season opener and was deactivated by the team after that.

Hardy remains on the exempt list and would need to be reinstated to play for the Cowboys. Additional punishment from the NFL is a possibility, especially with the heightened focus on domestic violence issues following the Ray Rice case.

"We have spent a great deal of time over the last two days in meeting with Greg directly and gaining a solid understanding of what he is all about as a person and as a football player," Jones said. "A thorough background review of him, involving many elements of our organization, has been ongoing for the last few weeks.

"Obviously a great deal of our study was dedicated to the issue of domestic violence, and the recent events that associated Greg with that issue. We know that Greg's status remains under review by the National Football League.

"Our organization understands the very serious nature of domestic violence in our society and in our league. We know that Greg has a firm understanding of those issues as well."

Hardy tied a Panthers record with 15 sacks in 2013 and had 204 tackles and 34 sacks in 63 games for Carolina, including 40 starts. The Panthers placed the franchise tag on him at a cost of $13.1 million for the 2014 season.