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.
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.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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