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Cowboys Edge Rushers Unlikely to be Reinstated Prior to the Draft

There's been a lot of excitement this surrounding two players that haven't played a lot of football recently. With rule changes to the 's stance on and how they'll handle violations, the expectation is that will be available for the in 2020. Then the Cowboys signed , who's struggled with alcoholism and had several DUIs over the years and, like Gregory, is serving an indefinite . Though the circumstances for their are vastly different, with regards to the NFL, they're pretty much in the same boat.

While there's a legitimate reason for excitement, their presence with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 is far from a guarantee, though it's pretty likely.

As a reminder to the tenuous nature of their , Ed Werder from reported yesterday afternoon that won't decide on reinstatement appeals for Randy Gregory or Aldon Smith.


The thought of Gregory and Smith rushing the passer for the Dallas Cowboys is incredibly intriguing. However, there's no telling what they'll bring to the field once they are cleared to play by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Because Gregory and Smith are under indefinite suspensions, Goodell is the final authority on their reinstatement proceedings.

By all accounts, Smith and Gregory have done the right things to get themselves in a position to be reinstated this season, but with Roger Goodell, it doesn't always matter. He has the discretion to demand more from the suspended player on their path back to the NFL.

While it's disappointing that the Dallas Cowboys won't have any clarity into their situations before the , which begins next Thursday night, the reality is it doesn't change anything. The Cowboys were still going to look at drafting an in this year's draft class. That's why they've met with K'Lavon Chaisson, , and Kenny Willekes. And it's not because they don't think Smith and Gregory will be back in uniform in 2020, it's because they won't know what they have in those two guys until they're back on the practice field for , Minicamp, and (if any of these occur).

Aldon Smith hasn't played football since 2015. Randy Gregory played all of 2018 but sat out again in 2019 due to suspension. These two guys are gifted players who should be able to provide something to the , but they can't go into the planning on Smith and Gregory being ready to be the starter at right . The Cowboys must be prepared for the possibility that even if Smith and Gregory are available week one of the NFL season that they aren't prepared to handle a full workload at right defensive end from the jump.

And that means going into the draft understanding that rusher remains a top priority after the Cowboys lost in to the .

It would be great if both Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory can return and be impact players for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 and beyond. However, until we see them on the practice field against Cowboys Offensive Tackles and La'el Collins, the Cowboys are placing too lofty expectations on a couple of players who haven't played consistently in the last five seasons.

Whatever the Dallas Cowboys get out of Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith should be considered icing on the cake and excellent reinforcements to their edge rusher depth. The Cowboys were always going to go into this draft without counting on their two suspended edge rushers, but this from Ed Werder just reinforces that plan to the Cowboys and the public. Edge rusher will be high on their list as they work through their draft next week.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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