Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a statement tonight reiterating the team’s support for defensive end Greg Hardy after Deadspin published an account of Hardy’s alleged assault of ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. That story was based upon hundreds of pages of police reports and court documents, many never before seen, as well as dozens of photos of the injuries Holder allegedly suffered at the hands of Hardy.
Jones claims that the Cowboys had not seen the photos of Holder’s injuries prior to signing Hardy to a one-year, $11.3 million contract, but that the team was “aware of the serious nature of this incident.”
Here’s the full statement, via Ian Rapoport:
“While we did not have access to the photos that became public today, we were and are aware of the serious nature of this incident. We as an organization take this very seriously. We do not condone domestic violence. We entered into the agreement with Greg fully understanding that there would be scrutiny and criticism. We have given Greg a second chance. He is a member of our team and someone who is grateful for the opportunity he has been given to move forward with his life and his career.”
Jones’s support of Hardy doesn’t come as a surprise. The Cowboys declined to comment on Deadspin’s story when contacted, but have stood behind him since his signing earlier this year. Just 11 days ago, after Hardy blew up at a special teams coach on the sideline, Jones told reporters in a surreal interview that Hardy was “one of the real leaders on this team.”
Jones and his son Stephen—the team’s executive vice president—have both said that they want to sign Hardy to a long-term deal.
Photo via AP