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Randy Gregory: “I Am Proud Of The Journey I Took”

came into the NFL in 2015 with a world of potential. It's been a struggle for him to consistently produce on the field as he's battled his demons off the field which caused him to miss a litany of games under the league's old substance abuse policy.

The former second-round pick has turned the corner in his life after so many years of being down in the doldrums. As he participates in his full since his rookie campaign, Gregory is reflective on the journey he's taken.

“I don't want to get all deep on your guys, but I think that it's certain levels of self-love and just understanding,” Gregory said Tuesday. “I don't know to put it. It's a lot of self-love. There was a time in my life when you could ask me to say one good thing about myself and I couldn't. I could say 20 bad things. I have come a long way from that. I can say a lot of good things about myself. I am proud of myself. I am proud of where I am. I am proud of the journey I took. A lot of guys don't make it as far as I have.”

As talented as Gregory is he was never going to maximize what he can do on the football field until his life off of it gained some sort of balance. Everyone has setbacks or has to deal with hard times at some point but the purpose is to learn from them, which Gregory is currently doing.

“I have made a lot of mistakes. But I think I have earned what I have gotten whether it's bad or good, and I am going to continue to do that,” Gregory said. “My best years are to come. They are ahead of me. Very excited for the future. As long there is a lot of positive thinking and being around the right people, keeping obligations in the right place, and having the right priorities off the field and on the field, I will be alright.”

Gregory may be entering his seventh season but it's the normal seven years for a professional athlete. He missed the entire 2017 and 2019 seasons with indefinite . In 2016, he only played in two games due to multiple suspensions. For his career, Gregory has only played in 38 games and registered one start which came in the finale against the .

That much time away from the field and his teammates was difficult for Gregory. Now that he has the luxury of those things being available to him, Gregory has more of a reason to continue on the straight and narrow path he's traveled recently.

“In my past, I had a lot of time to myself not being with the team,” Gregory said. “That was a tough time. Being around the guys in the locker room, day to day, week to week, being around the coaches, it kind of just gives me a purpose.”

Fans and media across the globe have ridiculed the Cowboys for sticking by Gregory. However, his willingness to never give up on himself and his relentless pursuit to get back on the field has earned him respect and admiration among his teammates and is a huge why team owner has always been in Gregory's corner.

The road to get where Gregory is currently hasn't been easy. Now, he's ready to leave his past behind him and keep moving forward.

“It's been an up-and-down journey,” Gregory said. “You guys know my journey. Another big thing for me this year that kind of goes along with my statement about my role is I'm trying to get away from – and it's hard, I understand – I want to get away from that past. I feel like there's a certain narrative you guys have to follow or choose to follow as far as my journey. That's what people want to read about and hear about, I understand. It's in the past. I've done a great job the last few years with the team on and off the field, and I'm looking forward to the future if that's three years, five years, whatever it is. I'm having fun. I'm doing what I need to do. The coaches love me; the players love me – at least I think they do – and I'm not worried about all the other stuff. I'm doing a good job.”

Although he played in 10 games and produced a career-high three forced fumbles and registered 3.5 in 2020, Gregory did so in limited playing time. His 271 snaps only accounted for 25% of the Cowboy's defensive plays last season. He wanted to be on the field more but realizes several things went into his snap count.

“There were a lot of factors at play,” Gregory said about his playing time last season. “I wasn't happy with my playing time. Were there conversations around that? Of course. I think that's more internal.”

Gregory having a limited snap count shouldn't be an issue under new . He's bringing a scheme that will have three and four-man fronts and create more opportunities for guys on the , and Gregory sees it as being his shot to show more of what he has in his tool bag.

“I think it's a little more diverse as far as the different looks we can give on ,” Gregory said. “I think it's going to be a lot more fun for us, at least for me. And then it will really be able to stretch my limits athletically on the field as far as me dropping in coverage, lining up wide, and trying to get to the , and different games and stunts we can do as a D-line.”

The anticipation for a breakout season for Gregory is at an all-time high. He's fought tooth and nail to get his mental health under control to where he can produce on the field at a high level. 2021 is the time to do so and all eyes will be on Gregory as the resurrection of his career continues.

Matthew Lenix
Matthew Lenix
I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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