To win in this league you normally need two things: a good quarterback, and an explosive pass rusher.
Games are won at the line of scrimmage, and if you can beat the other team's left tackle with an explosive speed rush and get to their quarterback, you will always have a chance.
This is precisely why the Dallas Cowboys took a chance in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. As defensive end Randy Gregory slid to them, they simply could not pass up on his elite natural abilities, despite the drug issues he so clearly had.
The idea was simple. Draft Gregory, get him into a healthy and structured locker room, and see if you can't help change his behavior. But, here we are two years later, and nothing has changed.
In fact, things seem to have gotten worse.
Last week, TMZ reported that Gregory failed yet another NFL-sanctioned drug test, making it at least his seventh failed test of his young career. Gregory was already suspended for all of 2017, due to previous failed drug tests.
Now, the Cowboys are left with what seems to be an easy question to answer.
Is it time to simply give up on Randy Gregory?
I want to say no so badly.
As a player, Randy Gregory has proven he can be special. When he was available the last few weeks of 2016, Gregory showed flashes of how good he can be, beating Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters around the edge with his speed multiple times.
But, the flashes have been so few and far between, mostly because of his suspensions.
Going into the offseason, I was totally on board the “why not just wait it out with Gregory” train of thought, but yet another failed drug test has made me re-evaluate my stance.
It is getting clearer and clearer that Gregory is probably not going to play for the Cowboys, let alone in the NFL at all, again. His career seems to be over, backed up so far with suspensions that he may not even be available for 2018.
It might be time for the Cowboys to handle Randy Gregory like they did Rolando McClain, and simply cut ties.
To be honest, the fate of Gregory may depend on if commissioner Roger Goodell decides to re-work the league's policy on marijuana. But Goodell doesn't seem to want to bring about change any time soon.