There have been several updates this week regarding current and former Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen, all of which are relevant to their playing status for 2018. Here's a quick summary of the current happenings.
Randy Gregory Reinstatement
First up is Randy Gregory's quest to be reinstated to the NFL this year. The former second-round pick, who's basically missed two seasons with drug suspensions, is reportedly on the right path and will be giving the commissioner plenty of material to consider.
Along with passed drug tests and testimony from various parties, Gregory's own Cowboys teammates have thrown their voices into the appeal.
Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford has spoken to the league the last couple of weeks asking for suspended DR Randy Gregory to be reinstated. He said it's best for Gregory to be around the team.
Add Sean Lee and Jeff Heath to the list of Cowboys who have written letters to the league on Randy Gregory's behalf per source informed https://t.co/2hfbGMqLRA
Not only would Randy's return be a great personal triumph for the 25-year-old, but he could fill a real void on the Cowboys defense line as a weak-side rusher. Gregory's athleticism and potential to take on NFL left tackles is why he was a high second-rounder despite the baggage, and why Dallas continues to hope for his return.
David Irving Investigation
Last month, reports that David Irving was being investigated by police for domestic violence came out. Quickly, this appeared to be caused by false accusations from an angry ex-girlfriend.
Thankfully, it appears that the police have drawn the same conclusion.
Frisco (TX) Police, who were investigating a since-recanted allegation of domestic violence against #Cowboys DE David Irving, closed his case yesterday, I'm told. The file was made inactive. This arose when a former girlfriend hacked his twitter account in late April.
After what the Cowboys went through last year with Ezekiel Elliott, any accusations of domestic violence were concerning. As we saw then, Roger Goodell doesn't have any burden of proof before he can decide to suspend a player. What's more, his process is clearly biased towards public relations over actual facts.
Of course, all we had in Zeke's case was an accuser without any police action. But that accuser stuck to her story, why Irving's has already recanted.
Hopefully, that's enough to keep the Clown Commish out of David's life.
Terrell McClain Reunion
While it went from a Tuesday dinner to a Wednesday breakfast, the veteran defensive tackle is meeting with the Cowboys this week. McClain, who was with Dallas from 2014-2016, was recently cut by Washington and is a free agent.
Cowboys exec Will McClay having breakfast right now inside The Star w FA Terrell McClain, per @BryanBroaddus and @1053thefan https://t.co/Hlwv1glkE4
With defensive tackle a high priority going into the 2018 draft, Dallas did not come away with any new talent for the position. Bringing back McClain, who was a standout for the team during their 2016 playoff run, could be a big move toward solidifying the entire defensive line next year.
That they're even taking the time to meet says a lot. The team knows the player well, and vice versa. They wouldn't waste their time without some serious interest.
We'll see if Jerry Jones and Will McClay even let McClain leave town before signing him to a new contract.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.
From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.
Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.
Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.
They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.
Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.
According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.
DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million
This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.
Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.
This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.
Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.
There is risk on both sides, of course.
Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.
Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.
The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.
One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.
Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.
Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.
This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.
Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.
Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.
Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.
Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.
It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.
Star Blog2 weeks ago
What if Dak Prescott isn’t Dallas’ Franchise QB?
Star Blog2 weeks ago
4 Decisions That Could Shape Cowboys 2018 Season
Dallas Cowboys7 days ago
Ex-Giants Coach Ben McAdoo Talks Trash About Cowboys
Star Blog1 week ago
Would Trading La’el Collins for Earl Thomas Make Sense?
Dallas Cowboys2 days ago
Noah Brown Takes to Twitter to Call Out ESPN
Star Blog6 days ago
True or False: Sifting Through the Cowboys Trade Rumors
Dallas Cowboys7 days ago
Kris Richard Allows Cowboys to be Patient on Earl Thomas
Dallas Cowboys3 days ago
What’s Left for Cowboys to Offer in Deal for Earl Thomas?