Anthony Hargrove‘s attempt at reclamation has been put on hold.
The Dallas Cowboys released the veteran defensive tackle, no. 99, on Thursday, just a little over a month after signing him on May 16. Hargrove, one of the principle centers of attention in the New Orleans Saints‘ bounty scandal, had been looking to get back on track in the NFL after missing 22 games due to suspension because of the now infamous “Bountygate.”
The 29-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., native has played seven seasons in the league, capping a career season in 2009 — ironically the same year as the scandal — when he tallied 42 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
Obviously for the Cowboys, the move means that they didn’t view Hargrove as a correct fit, or even as having the right skills, to compete as a defensive tackle in the Cowboys’ new scheme.
But the move comes as a little bit of a surprise, given that the team — with Jay Ratliff, Sean Lissemore and Jason Hatcher as the only tackles having any real game experience — is rather green on the defensive front. Ratliff, a former Pro Bowler, and Hatcher are the only ones at, or north of, 30 years of age.
However, the Cowboys clearly feel comfortable at the tackle position going into the upcoming season.
Hargrove marks the second defensive tackle to be released by the team this offseason, with 23-year-old Brian Price, a former second-round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, released May 9. That is not counting Josh Brent, whose pro career is now in definite limbo.
Of course, we could now revisit this past draft and ask why the Cowboys didn’t take Sharrif Floyd with the no. 18 pick.
But, as hard as it may be for some fans, we’ll probably just be forced to wait and see how the position plays out before we make any true judgments.