Well, it happened. We all hoped Randy Gregory had somehow overcome his demons, but unfortunately they reared their ugly head once again and he is now looking at an indefinite suspension from the NFL. I truly feel bad for him since it looked as if he was finally coming into his own, but now we have to turn our attention to the Dallas Cowboys and how his suspension impacts the organization.
There’s no way of knowing how much faith the Dallas Cowboys had in Randy Gregory’s availability for the 2019 season, but one thing is for sure, their offseason plans are surely altered a little bit now. Whether big or small, things have certainly changed. That is why today I wanted to share with all of you three ways Gregory’s suspension could change the Cowboys approach to the offseason.
Approach to Free Agency and NFL Draft
The biggest way, Randy Gregory’s suspension could alter the Dallas Cowboys offseason plans is it probably changes their approach to free agency and the 2019 NFL Draft. Tight end, safety, and defensive tackle were thought to be the biggest “needs”, and rightfully so, but now defensive end suddenly becomes a priority as well.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cowboys would have been perfectly content to start the 2019 season with their current depth at DE before Gregory’s suspension. That’s not to say they wouldn’t have added more depth at some point in free agency or the draft, but they more than likely have to now. Now they may have to add a mid to lower tier veteran DE and quite possibly draft one as well. That’s equity that could have been distributed somewhere else.
Cutting Some Fat for More Cap Space
The Dallas Cowboys are currently in the top 10 in the NFL as far as the salary cap goes, but they wanted to allocate that money towards signing some of their own. They still have the money to do just that, but they may need a little extra cap space to bring in some outside help through free agency now because of Gregory’s suspension. That may mean cutting ties with a few players they otherwise were planning to keep.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said he expects Allen Hurns to remain on the roster and be ready to go by training camp. Jones said they want Cole Beasley to re-sign but if he doesn’t, Hurns will be an option at slot receiver
Allen Hurns is someone Stephen Jones said they expected to keep around, but that was before the Gregory suspension news broke. The Cowboys can save about $5 million by parting ways with No. 17, but he’s not the only one. Sean Lee could be another possible cap casualty as well, saving about $7 million. They could also restructure a few contracts to create more money, but that’s not something I think they were planning on doing before hand.
Earl Thomas to Dallas Becomes Trickier
It’s no secret the Dallas Cowboys are still interested in landing Earl Thomas, but we all know they aren’t going to overpay to do so. That means it is only going to happen at their price and now that price might have lowered a little bit because of Gregory’s suspension. Dallas already plans on handing out a hefty contract extension to DeMarcus Lawrence and now they may have to pay a veteran defensive end as well.
Unfortunately, this may impact the kind of contract they were willing to give Earl Thomas. Since Stephen Jones has become more involved in the decision-making the Cowboys have been stingy with their free agent signings these past few years. He’s not going to overpay for ET no matter how much of a difference maker he could be with the Cowboys. This is especially true now that he has to find more DE depth. There is only so much money to go around and he’s not known as someone who likes to spend freely.