Connect with us

Player News

Randy Gregory to be Eased into Cowboys Camp

John Williams

Published

on

Will Cowboys' Faith in DE Randy Gregory Pay Off?

Randy Gregory's tumultuous absence from the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys has been documented at length. It's a story that has a tremendous amount of ups and downs as his rollercoaster ride through addiction and mental illness and his return has captivated Cowboys Nation.

When the Dallas Cowboys made Randy Gregory their second round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, the front office readily admitted they were taking a chance on a top-10 talent. Gregory had failed a drug test at the NFL's Scouting Combine, but the chance to get one of the best players in the draft that year was too much to pass on.

Still waiting on the payoff for that second round risk, Gregory is 100% reinstated and with the team at training camp. As Inside The Star Staff Writer Brian Martin writes about Gregory and 2016 second-round pick, Jaylon Smith, this may be the year the Cowboys reap those second round rewards.

The team plans to ease him into practices as Randy Gregory gets his football legs back.

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys are pleased with Randy Gregory's conditioning. But like any player who has been away from game this long _ and missed offseason program _ they are taking it slow. Club could ease him back into practice toward end of next week.

Despite his past struggles, things are trending up for Gregory as he gets ready to take part in practices for the first time since the end of 2016. But what are realistic expectations for Randy Gregory as he gets ready to make his return?

Yes, we need to make sure the man is in a good place with his sobriety and with his mental health. I get that his story isn't all about football.

The problem lies when you begin talking about the 53-man roster.

If you're going to have him on the 53, and especially the game day 46, you need to get something out of Gregory. He can't just be a body taking up space. When roster spots are so precious in today's NFL, everyone has to have a role and everyone is expected to contribute.

Nothing is given in the NFL. Everything is earned.

As Tony Romo said, "the NFL is a meritocracy."

As much as we want to pencil him in as the starter at right defensive end, Gregory will have to earn his snaps.

For Randy Gregory, personally speaking, just being back with the team is a huge accomplishment. Being able to at training camp with friends, teammates, and coaches who really want the best for you can be a huge boost to sobriety and long-term playing prospects.

If you read any of the letters of recommendation written by his teammates, then you know how they feel about him. When you have 52 guys in your corner rooting for you, plus coaches, trainers, and front office personnel, that has to be a huge boost to Gregory's confidence.

As far as production goes, I believe a reasonable floor for Gregory is similar to what Taco did in 2017. Play about 40% of the defensive snaps, have around 3-5 sacks, double-digit pressures, and be a solid rotational piece. Anything more than that should be considered icing on the cake. With his talent and tools, he should be able to surpass that if the pass rush snaps become available to him.

It won't be long until Gregory is taking part in team drills, but for Gregory and Cowboys Nation, the wait has been long enough.



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.

Player News

Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

Published

on

Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Continue Reading

Player News

Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



Continue Reading

Player News

Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

Published

on

Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending