Well look at what we got here.
Randy Gregory has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Now, you can argue about whether marijuana should be legal or not. You can argue about whether the league has a ridiculous substance abuse policy. Guess what, I am not here to argue about either and I think this instance is about more than abusing a substance.
For Randy Gregory to do this really stings. I really believed that this was behind him. I thought that this was a good kid who made a dumb mistake and was ready to use it as motivation to become great.
Listen to his call with Jerry Jones after he was drafted. Listen to everything Randy Gregory said after being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
This looked like a kid who realized his mistake and was so thankful of the Cowboys organization for taking the chance on him. He seemed like he was going to be made into a monster. The Cowboys slapped the historic number 94 on his back as if to say "Randy...we believe in you and we have your back."
The Cowboys held up their end. They took the chance on a troubled kid. They backed it up by putting that number on his back. They said all the right things about him publicly and stuck their neck out for him.
This is how Randy Gregory repays this organization?
This is simply inexcusable. This basically says that Randy Gregory cares more about whatever substance he absused than he does about his professional career, his ability to make a lot of money, the Dallas Cowboys organization and the game of football.
It was made quite simple for him. There were two options, 1. Play football, make a lot of money and have a lot of success for a team that stuck their neck out for you, or 2. Continue to use banned substances.
Randy Gregory obviously chose the second option.
The Cowboys still have Randy Gregory obviously, and he still has tremendous talent. Gregory can still participate in all offseason work as well as the preseason, so he can continue to work on his game.
Gregory will miss a quarter of the 2016 Cowboys season, which obviously really hurts. The defensive end position is now a position of major need.
Randy Gregory using this substance not only hurt himself, but it hurt 52 other men. His teammates should be disgusted. He hurt every member of the Cowboys front office. He hurt every single coach that believed in him.
This was purely selfish and the repercussions are tremendous for the Dallas Cowboys.
Yes, it is four games. Can the Cowboys just simply believe in him now? How could you? You have to prepare as if this will happen again. You have to look into the future of the defensive end position for the Dallas Cowboys down the line.
Randy Gregory now becomes an added bonus rather than a guy you are counting on to be a major part of your team's future.
The trickle-down effect will be something to watch. The Cowboys should now enter free agency with a major need at defensive end. Olivier Vernon becomes even more intriguing to me.
You hope they enter the draft with less of a need than the one they have today. You would hate to see them feel like they have to take Joey Bosa at fourth overall if they have a different player ranked higher.
This is something that is just really disappointing. I believed in the Randy Gregory story. I became emotionally attached to the story of a guy making a childish mistake and being determined to right his wrong. I became attached to seeing a team reach out to a player like the Cowboys did with Gregory and the player repaying them by not only staying clean but becoming a dominant player.
While the career of Randy Gregory is far from over, you hope this was the second wake up call that he needed. If not, the Cowboys must look to improve this position long-term.
Regardless...good thing for Demarcus Lawrence.
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.
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