Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy’s initial 10-game suspension was reduced to four games, the NFL announced Friday. Hardy appealed the suspension and arbitrator Harold Henderson cut it down by more than half.
Hardy, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers, was accused of violating the league’s personal conduct policy for his alleged role in a violent incident with a former girlfriend. The NFL handed down the suspension in April, but now Hardy is eligible to suit up for Dallas in Week 5 of the upcoming season.
In July 2014 a Mecklenburg (N.C.) County judge found Hardy guilty of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. He received a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months of probation for the misdemeanor charges. However, Hardy appealed the judge’s decision and Holder refused to testify, which led to the case being dismissed in February.
Last season, Hardy appeared in one game for the Panthers, as he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list for the last 15 games while his case played out in court.
The Panthers ultimately decided not to re-sign Hardy, 26, after he played under the franchise tag last season, and he became a free agent in the offseason. He signed a one-year deal worth as much as $13.2 million with the Cowboys.
One of the top pass rushers in the NFL, Hardy has 34.0 career sacks and seven forced fumbles since entering the league in 2010.