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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory on Road to Reinstatement

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Draft Cowboys Headlines - How 4 Games Without Gregory & Lawrence Impacts Draft Plans 2
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The Cowboys may get to add some pass rushing talent this year without signing a single free agent or using a draft pick. Defensive end Randy Gregory, who has been suspended for most of the last two seasons, is close to applying for reinstatement to the NFL.

According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, Gregory's team is closing in on initiating a return to football. It involves a formal petition to the league office, and Roger Goodell in particular, to review the progress Randy's made in his personal life and decide if it's sufficient enough for him to represent "the shield" again.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also weighed in on Gregory's potential return:

David Helman on Twitter

Jerry Jones, speaking at the grand opening of The Star's entertainment district, confirmed that Randy Gregory is preparing to apply for reinstatement and there is hope he can play in 2018. Not much detail beyond that, due to the discretionary nature of the process #cowboyswire

Randy Gregory's been rarely seen since the Cowboys used their 2015 second-round pick to acquire him. He was injured in the season opener as a rookie and missed the next four games, Gregory was active for the final 11 games that year but didn't make much impact, still seeming to be bothered by his ankle injury and whatever rhythm or momentum was lost by sitting out.

Dallas Cowboys Player Profile: DE #94 Randy Gregory 4

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

2016 was basically a lost year with suspensions. Gregory missed four games and then another 10 on back-to-back suspensions for using illegal substances, not appearing for the team until the final two weeks. He picked up his first and only career sack in the Week 17 finale.

That was the last we've seen of Randy in a Cowboys uniform. Another drug violation got him indefinitely suspended and now it's up to Dallas' favorite judge, jury and executioner, Roger Goodell, to decide if Gregory has taken enough positive steps to merit a return to football.

While fans still rightly loathe Goodell for his handling of the Ezekiel Elliott case, that may actually work in Gregory's favor. As long as there's enough to justify a positive ruling, Goodell may be inclined to lean toward mercy in an effort to restore some goodwill with the Cowboys and their fans.

Still just 25-year-old, Randy Gregory could be a major addition to the emerging pass rushers on the Cowboys defense. DeMarcus Lawrence was a breakout star in 2017, David Irving in on the cusp of being a household name, and Taco Charlton was improving as the season went along.

At this point, the Cowboys are in a no-lose scenario with Gregory. If he can come back, he's a cheap backup with tremendous upside. If not, he's someone they'd also written out of their future plans.

It's Randy who really needs the win here, and for his sake I hope he gets it.



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!

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4 Comments
  • Ervinlang318

    Zero Expectations. If he’s able to fart and fall down while stopping the run then thats a bonus

  • Derek Robinson

    I’m praying for you Mr. Gregory. What a
    defensive line we would have with you in the rotation. But, beyond football I hope you get your life back on track. God bless you man. EVERYONE deserves a chance for a clean and happy life.

    • Russ_Te

      I agree. Most important is his own struggle, and if he’s not right on a personal level he’d be back off the roster quickly anyway.

      If he gets approval we’ll be able to learn a bit more at camp. What he says his rehab effort is, what he looks like in scrimmages. The talent should still be there, but how close to football shape will be a question.

      If Gregory is reinstated and staying clean, he can be very useful in the rotations. Bring him in on long downs at RDE with 1 job, get in the backfield.

      • EverybodyTalks

        Amen.

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Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.



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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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