In order to add depth on the defensive line, the Cowboys signed 9 year veteran Anthony Hargrove. The Cowboys will be the 5th team he has played with in his nine years in the NFL. Exactly who is Hargrove, how did he end up in Dallas, and can he help the Cowboys defensive line in 2013?
Anthony is an enthusiastic type player that likes to fire up his teammates prior to the game. As you may recall, like former Cowboy Keith Brooking did for Dallas a few years ago. Brooking was a former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket which Hargrove is too. Anthony gets so worked up he once landed on his backside while firing up the team which served to crack them up more than anything. That was featured on ESPN’s “Come on man” segment. HERE
That fall and him getting back up is how Hargrove’s life and career have gone.
Childhood in Brooklyn NY: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” –Winston Churchill
Anthony’s start in life was a tough one as he was raised in foster care in Brooklyn from age 6 until age 9 when his mother passed away, and an aunt adopted him in Port Charlotte, Florida. As a child, he witnessed things in his tough neighborhood that would kill the hope of many kids.
At Port Charlotte H.S., Hargrove played QB and safety. He converted to defensive end in college at Georgia Tech.
In 2004, Hargrove was drafted in the third round by the Rams. In 2005, he became the Rams starting DE and recorded an impressive 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
Suspended By the NFL for substance abuse:
In 2006 after an unexplained absence from the team, the Rams traded Anthony to the Bills and in 2007, he was suspended by the NFL for substance abuse. He failed another drug test in 2008. Anthony had an addiction and the drug of choice was cocaine.
“Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up.” –Michael Irvin
Hargrove addressed his addiction by attending a treatment center in North Miami where he worked to put his life back together.
Hargrove becomes a Saint:
In 2009, Hargrove joined the Saints where he was moved to defensive tackle and flourished as the Saints won the super bowl. His Saint teammates voted for him to receive the Ed Block Courage Award because of his courageous come back from addiction to the NFL again. He now speaks with troubled youth in a community and shares his challenges to succeed.
Saints Bounty Scandal:
While a member of the Packers in 2012, the NFL suspended Hargrove for the first 8 games of the season for his part in the Saints bounty system. The Packers released him in August of 2012 and he hasn’t played in the NFL since then.
My Take and Anthony Hargove’s role with the Cowboys:
First of all there is a need on the Cowboys for depth on the defensive line. Ware and Spencer will convert to DE but they have not played DE in the NFL. After those two, are inexperienced players who have not played DE at this level either.
Many thought Dallas would draft a defensive tackle but they didn’t. Hargrove can play both DE or DT at the NFL level. While some experts like Brian Broaddus, see Hargrove helping Dallas as a DE, I think he will see action at both positions and in my view, he played his best football in N.O. as a DT.
Video of Hargrove getting a safety against the Giants. Now that’s the kind of defensive line play the Cowboys could use.
Hargrove has the experience to not only add depth but also teach the inexperienced DEs of the Cowboys about playing in the 4-3. I like it that Hargrove has played on a team that won a super bowl and I think that experience will be a positive influence for the Cowboys players.
With his inspiring story of over coming addiction, I also think Anthony can be a positive influence in the Cowboys locker room as well as the Dallas community. It’s no secret that the Cowboys defensive linemen have had incidents with substance abuse and perhaps Anthony can help point those guys in the right direction to fix their lives and careers.
In 2013, the Cowboys represent an opportunty for Hargrove to pull himself up off the ground once again and demonstrate a unique resilience that has kept him in the NFL. He will also get the opportunity to help others who have fallen.
Anthony just needs to stay on his feet during those pregame pump ups.