Randy Gregory “Lights Out” As He Prepares for Week 7 Return

The Dallas Cowboys defense has been the worst defense in the NFL through the first five weeks of the season and it’s not even close. There appears to be a light on the horizon though as the Cowboys got Anthony Brown back last week, appear to be getting Leighton Vander Esch back this week, Chidobe Awuzie should return soon, and next week marks the return of Defensive End Randy Gregory.

Time heals all wounds. 

Gregory’s return couldn’t come sooner as the Cowboys will need all hands on deck for the final 11 games if they hope to salvage what has been a disappointing start to the 2020 season. According to Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott, the pass rusher has been “lights out” and “looks better than I’ve ever seen him.”

Jon Machota on Twitter: “Ezekiel Elliott said Randy Gregory was “lights out” in practice today. “It was really tough to block him. I’m excited to get Randy back. He’s got those fresh legs and he looks better than I’ve ever seen him.” / Twitter”

Ezekiel Elliott said Randy Gregory was “lights out” in practice today. “It was really tough to block him. I’m excited to get Randy back. He’s got those fresh legs and he looks better than I’ve ever seen him.”

Those are strong words, considering Ezekiel Elliott has seen a lot of Randy Gregory over the years. There have been reports that Gregory has improved his size and strength in preparation for his return. When Gregory last played he came in around 250 pounds, not small by any stretch, but generally lighter than most defensive ends in a four-man front.

The last time Gregory saw an extended amount of game action was in 2018 when he had six sacks in 14 games, helping the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs.

Though DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith are playing well, there should be a role for Gregory when he returns in week seven against the Washington Football Team. Veteran Everson Griffen hasn’t provided the spark many thought he would when he was signed as a free agent this Summer. Perhaps Gregory will be that spark.

If the Cowboys can get the player we saw back in 2018, it could help propel their defense to another level. Gregory’s return would allow the Cowboys to use Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen on the inside on obvious pass-rushing downs and it could force Griffen into a more specialist role.

After the loss of Quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys defense will need to be better over the rest of the 2020 season for the Cowboys to have much of a chance at anything other than an early exit from the postseason. Randy Gregory’s presence and play should provide a spark that could help everyone from the front four to the linebacker group and the defensive backs as well.

There is still a lot that can be accomplished in 2020, but it’s going to require getting all of your defensive pieces back and healthy and them coming together to provide much better play as a group.

What do you think?


Written by 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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  1. The whole D- line looked “lights out ” in training camp against this same cowboys O- line. Besides A Smith they have been a disappointment. I don’t wanna hear talk I wanna see production.

    I agree that getting a few players back should help, but all teams have had injuries, but ours is the only one on pace to have the worst D in NFL history.

  2. Lights out against backups isn’t really saying a lot. If he was getting pushed around by those same backups that would be a story. I hope Gregory gives the D a huge boost but let’s remember that this Dline was praised as almost unblockable in training camp but outside of Smith hasnt done anything of note thus far against starting caliber olinemen. If he can bring that same disruptive force into live game situations against starting olineman then it’ll be a story until then im glad he’s back but im holding back my excitement until I see onfield live game results ‍♂️

  3. I agree if these posts, I always want to see to results – WINS. But on a somewhat positive note, I read an story on SBNATION, entitled “Don’t let the box score fool you, the Cowboys defense showed improvements vs Giants” by David Howman. May give us a bit of hope on our defense. If anyone has time, take a look.

  4. Fred my man u just basically repeated everything I said lol

    VAM Ur right they did look better against the team that is rivaling us for the worst in the league. Lol damn I sound negative. But I’ll take any positives I can get. Lets see how they look with the middle of the road Cardinals.

  5. If MN fails to put him where he can make some plays then it will be lights out when other teams lights our score board up so bad that it blows the bulbs out! Man we need to change our defensive schemes quit trying to read and react and just pin our ears back and go make some plays!

  6. I thought I posted earlier but it didn’t come up! Soooo it is going to be lights out if we don’t start putting people in the right situation to make plays! This defense looks like their trying to read what is happening instead of getting up the field and attacking!! Yep it’s going to be lights out when the teams we play score so much that it blows the lights out of our score board!

  7. Unfortunately, I am already at the point where I think this season is totally lost. Double team Gregory if he is a threat, single up everyone else and the defense is stymied! They can’t get off blocks, can’t see where the ball is going, can’t cover anyone, can’t do anything! The offense is a shell of it’s former self. What do you expect when you lose your starting center, then your backup center, plus both starting tackles and the swing tackle, then lose the starting Quarterback, starting tight end and prior starting tight end. Ha! it’s like a bad joke!!!

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