Former Cowboys DE Greg Hardy formally charged with cocaine possession

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was formally charged with a felony count of cocaine possession by a Dallas County grand jury on Monday.

Hardy was arrested Sept. 26 after being pulled over for failure to signal a left turn, and a search of his vehicle revealed what police said was cocaine and an item containing marijuana remnants, according to police documents.

If Hardy is found guilty, he could be fined up to $10,000 and spend at least 180 days in jail.

Hardy told police at the time of the arrest that he didn't know what was in a bag that police said contained cocaine, and Hardy said somebody gave him the bag at a party the previous night.

Hardy said he had been passing his wallet around at the party "because he was paying for everybody and that must have been when the baggie was put in his wallet,'' according to the police report.

The report also made reference to a couple of gun club membership cards in Hardy's wallet. When the NFL suspended Hardy for 10 games last season over a domestic violence case stemming from an incident that occurred when he played for the Carolina Panthers in 2014, the league cited the presence of guns in his apartment in the ruling. An arbitrator reduced the ban to four games.

Hardy, 28, played for the Cowboys last season after spending the first five years of his career with the Panthers. He had six sacks in 12 games for Dallas in 2015 after missing the first four games of the season due to the suspension.

In his first extended public comments after the completion of his suspension, he said he would come out "guns blazing" and made inappropriate comments about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's wife. On at least two occasions, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had to speak to Hardy about his Twitter feed. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones also had a sit-down meeting with Hardy later in the season.

The charges from his 2014 domestic violence case were dropped and his record expunged, but in November, Deadspin released photos from the night of the alleged incident that showed bruising to his ex-girlfriend's back, jaw and feet.

In an interview with ESPN, Hardy said he was an "innocent man" and denied he had ever put his hands on a woman. Of the photos, he said: "Pictures are pictures, and they can be made to look like whatever they want to."

Hardy remains unsigned. In April, Jones said he would not re-sign Hardy.