Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Broken Promise: Randy Gregory Fails Again, Should Cowboys Walk Away?

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Cowboys Draft Cowboys Headlines - How 4 Games Without Gregory & Lawrence Impacts Draft Plans 2

"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent."
A Bronx Tale

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has failed another drug test. Currently serving a combined 14-game ban for a previous offenses, Gregory is now subject to a year-long ban from the NFL.

 - Randy Gregory, #94

AP Photo/Alix Drawec

Gregory's drug issues and personal baggage cost him millions of dollars in the 2015 NFL Draft. He could have been a Top-15 pick or better, but the dynamic pass rusher fell to the second round because of these concerns. They have cost him nearly all of his second season, and now they may cost him his career.

Clearly, Gregory hasn't learned any lessons. Now, the question is if the Cowboys have learned theirs.

The debate about marijuana use and how much the NFL should be policing it is a separate issue. Regardless of your politics or personal opinion, the simple fact is that there are a set of rules right now for being an NFL player. You either care enough to follow them or you don't.

With Randy Gregory showing he doesn't care enough about being a football player, the Cowboys have to decide if he's worth their trouble. Does this young team, currently a Super Bowl contender and seemingly on the cusp of staying there for some time, need a guy like Gregory in the locker room?

You don't need to look far for an example of how a team's faith can go unrewarded. Rolando McClain is probably sitting somewhere along on the Chattahoochee River, waiting for a fish to bite while his football career goes to an early grave.

Cowboys Headlines - Rolando McClain and Randy Gregory: A Tale of Two Lockers 1

That isn't to say all risks fail. There have been many NFL players who overcame whatever personal problems caused a stumble and became productive, even superstars.

The risk factor on Randy Gregory wasn't just from personal problems, either. Although he was 6'5" as a rookie, his lean 235-lb frame led to concern that he could be put on the weight to hold up as a defensive lineman. While his athleticism and burst worked well in the 2015 preseason, Gregory was not effective when he played during the real games.

Now, unfortunately, Gregory's behavior and choices are making the physical issues a moot point.

By all accounts, Gregory is not the kind of selfish, lazy player that Rolando McClain has proven to be. Not only did he go to rehab for the drug issues but he's reportedly been with the team while suspended.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

True story. Gregory is here quite often, working alongside Jaylon. Oh well. https://t.co/G5UDCjDFoL

The difference between Gregory and McClain was also evident in how the Cowboys have talked about and handled them during their suspensions. Dallas clearly still believed in Gregory and thought he was capable of turning things around.

Even if marijuana isn't an addictive substance, there's something about its effects that Gregory is clearly addicted to. If there really is some internal pain that he's trying to escape from with his drug use, you can't help but feel sympathy.

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean he deserve to play in the NFL. None of us could use that excuse in our own jobs.

Jerry Jones had a great quote earlier this year about how availability is more important than ability. Whether its drug suspensions, chronic injuries, or whatever else keeps a guy off the football field, his talent and potential don't amount to much when he's in streets clothes.

Assuming this latest offense and the one-year suspension stick, Randy Gregory would not be eligible to play football again until the Cowboys last few regular season games of 2017. They have two options now:

Cowboys Blog - Super Bowl MVP Von Miller Gives Randy Gregory Hope 21. Cut Gregory Loose

For the last few seasons, the "Right Kind of Guy" mantra that Jason Garrett preaches has been kicked squarely in the crotch. This latest failing from Gregory may not find much room for mercy.

Greg Hardy was the glaring contradiction, but the issues with Rolando McClain and Gregory haven't helped. Joseph Randle's spree of craziness, though he didn't last long with the Cowboys, hasn't helped the perception. Even the teams loyalty to Josh Brent after his DUI was brought into question.

Dallas could simply end their relationship with Gregory immediately or after the season. The two remaining years on his rookie contract would be a wash on the salary cap; the dead money and cap relief are almost equal in 2017.

You only make this move if you believe one of the following:

  • Your locker room needs to see that you will only tolerate so much from any one player, no matter where he was drafted or how much potential you think he has.
  • You've truly lost faith that Randy Gregory can turn his life and career around.

2. Wait and See

 - Randy Gregory, #94With Gregory suspended and not counting against their roster limit, the Cowboys don't necessarily have to do anything. If he started now, Gregory would have almost six months until the Cowboys post-draft camps and OTAs. Perhaps a more extensive or intensive rehab stay, as opposed to the few months he did this past summer, would be fruitful.

Two of the NFL's most notorious marijuana offenders, wide receivers Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon, remain under contract with their teams. The difference between them and Gregory is that they've both displayed league-leading potential when they've played, whereas Gregory has barely played enough to do so.

Dallas doesn't get that second-round pick back if they release Gregory. He counts very little against the salary cap and doesn't impact the roster while suspended. Knowing all that, how much does it really cost to keep him around?

If you're confident in your locker room and don't see Gregory as a bad influence or precedent, there's really nothing to gain by releasing him. You'd only be appeasing angry, disappointed fans.

~ ~ ~

In the midst of so much good in this 2016 Cowboys season, a story like this almost feels out of place. Randy Gregory, as absent as he's been the last two years, has never seemed less a part of this team's culture or direction as right now.

The organization's momentum hasn't been this strong in some time, nor its future so bright. It's sad that Gregory doesn't appear capable of being part of the youth movement.

Even if it's not in Dallas, I just hope he finds some answers soon.

 



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

Advertisement
4 Comments
  • https://plus.google.com/111684658631344877598 chrisp tovar

    GOODBYE RANDY WHAT AN IDIOT !

  • David Garcia

    Last sentence on the 8th paragraph doesn’t make sense. I think you need the word “when” instead of on. Loved the Bronx tale quote to start the read.

    • http://www.PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      That quote comes back to me every time I read about these athletes who allow personal issues to derail their careers. There are far too many of these stories.

      Thanks for reading and especially for commenting!

  • http://gravatar.com/hectare22 hectare22

    Let him and McClain hit the road, you don’t need that sort of negative chemistry around your locker room. The guys who are busting their tails every day in practice and doing it right will look at the coaches with some side eyes if they keep these guys on the roster..

Dallas Cowboys

Which Cowboys Benefit From David Irving’s Suspension?

Jess Haynie

Published

on

David Irving

While losing David Irving for the first four weeks of 2018 is a bad thing for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line, it does create opportunities for some of the other defensive tackles. Who has the most to gain from Irving's suspension?

Because he was mostly going to be used inside as the 3-technique DT, David's absence will naturally benefit the guys who are best suited to play that role. Thankfully, Dallas isn't lacking for those types of players.

Veteran Tyrone Crawford can use all the playing time he can get. As a likely salary cap casualty next year, Crawford doesn't want to get buried on the depth chart as Dallas focuses on their younger players who project to stick around beyond 2018.

With Irving out, Dallas will likely lean on Tyrone as they often do when someone is missing on the defensive line. With more talent now at defensive end, Crawford was going to be competing with Irving, Maliek Collins, Jihad Ward, and other younger guys for work at tackle.

But now there's a problem, and it's easy to slide Crawford into the 3-tech role that Dallas once envisioned him being a star at. Remember, it was their projection of Tyrone as a breakout DT that got him his big contract to begin with.

Yes, Irving's only gone for four weeks. Dallas will still be giving him work in camp based on the role he should fill for the majority of the season. But that's why a veteran like Tyrone Crawford is a great temporary plug-in, because he doesn't need all of the practice reps to step in and perform.

Maliek Collins

Dallas Cowboys DT Maliek Collins

Another key beneficiary could be third-year DT Maliek Collins. Last season, Collins got stuck playing 1-technique and not getting the same opportunities to make plays and get noticed that he had his rookie year.

But now Dallas has several guys in Jihad Ward, Richard Ash, and Brian Price who can play the 1-tech role, which will hopefully get Collins back where he belongs. Maliek's athleticism belongs a little further away from center, letting him try to take on guards in single coverage.

Collins is dealing with a foot issue now but should be back for the preseason. That's enough time for him to be where he needs to be Week One, provided he's healthy.

How Dallas would balance playing time between Collins and Tyrone Crawford could be a matter of how much they play certain schemes. One could see Collins, the bigger guy, playing more in the base defense and then Crawford being used in passing situations.

There is always a lot of rotation in a Rod Marinelli line, so discussions about playing time can get a little silly. Unless you're a true stud like DeMarcus Lawrence who you don't want to take off the field, the Cowboys like to keep guys fresh.

But that's why this is a big opportunity; David Irving has that stud potential. He's the kind of talent who could keep solid players like Crawford and Collins out of view if he hits his stride.

For the first four weeks, though, Irving will be in the NFL doghouse and Dallas will likely lean on its two most experienced defensive tackles to fill the void. There will be more reps for guys like Datone Jones and Jihad Ward too, but Crawford and Collins have way more skins on the wall

That trust should keep them on the field more while David Irving's suspended, and perhaps beyond.



Continue Reading

Player News

BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out

Sean Martin

Published

on

Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out 1

The Dallas Cowboys are back in offseason mode, concluding their OTAs and minicamp from The Star. With a hiatus until training camp, it was important for several high-profile players to make a strong first impression on the 2018 season. From the start of mini camp, these impressions were left mostly by Rod Marinelli's defense and -- more specifically -- Kris Richard's young group of cornerbacks.

Still working through significant change on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys did rally on day three under Quarterback Dak Prescott to put out a better performance. The Cowboys coaching staff should love their lasting memories of both FA acquisition Wide Receiver Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup.

There is a strong chance that these two receivers will be the Cowboys starters in Oxnard for training camp. We have heard a lot about the impact new WR Coach Sanjay Lal has had on his group, slowing the game down to focus on route running. This will give the team's rotation of unproven receivers a chance with Prescott, as he can focus on throwing to a 'spot' more often.

One spot that Prescott has struggled to hit in two seasons as the starter in Dallas is the back of the end zone for fade routes. A red zone go-to under Scott Linehan, free agent WR Dez Bryant was often the intended target on these missed passes.

Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out

Dallas Cowboys WR Allen Hurns

Less of a route running technician and closer to the mold of a physical player like Bryant, Allen Hurns emerging as the Cowboys #1 option would solve a lot of uncertainty at the WR position. In yesterday's practice, Hurns was able to haul in a perfect ball from Prescott on the fade as he beat Byron Jones.

It's going to take some time for Jones to readjust to playing cornerback, but the vision for Kris Richard of him and Chidobe Awuzie starting on the outside is a great one. In a battle of proven players, Hurns got the best of Jones to spark the Cowboys offense at the right time.

Overall, there should be no reason to panic about (well, really anything from mini camp) the Cowboys offense right now, and plenty of reasons to be excited about what this defense will develop into.

Once the pads come on at training camp, the players the Cowboys are paying to play at an elite level will start to shine, including their newly re-signed Guard Zack Martin -- the highest paid guard in the league now. There are no doubts that the bread and butter for this offense will be handing the ball to Ezekiel Elliott behind this wall of an offensive line.

From this increase in competition in the trenches, we'll also get more meaningful battles along the defensive line. In shorts and helmets for now, the Cowboys secondary was given their chance at mini camp, and came out solid early.

Another player they've struggled to truly corral though is Michael Gallup. Perhaps pressing a bit thanks to his limited opportunities thus far, Jourdan Lewis was taken across the field by Gallup on a misfire from Cooper Rush.

This is nothing new for Gallup however, who's been ahead of the curve on creating the desired separation as a "violent" receiver on the outside.

A steal with the 81st overall pick in this year's draft, Gallup has a long way to go in beating out the likes of Terrance Williams, Cedrick Wilson (limited through this portion of the offseason with injuries), and even Cole Beasley, who's received some reps on the outside.

With both Hurns and Gallup making plays on the Cowboys final practice until late July, it's easy to let the mind wander with possibilities of the Cowboys offense playing at full strength against a defense that might be up for the challenge better than ever compared to year's past.

As always, the practice fields of Oxnard will serve as a battle ground for a young but deep Cowboys team to earn their spots on the 53-man roster, one that surely won't have room for all of the wide receiver hopefuls seen this week in mini camp.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Offense Finds Rhythm to End Minicamp, Hurns and Gallup Stand Out" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).




Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending