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Is It Time To Give Up On DE Randy Gregory?

Kevin Brady

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Is It Time To Give Up On DE Randy Gregory?

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.

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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.

What do you think the Cowboys should do with Randy Gregory? Leave a comment below and have your opinion heard!

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Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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7 Comments
  • Charles Freddie Smith

    Bye Randy!

  • Randy Martin

    Technically he isn’t costing us a roster spot and Jerry says he isn’t giving up on him. That being said, sometimes you have to protect your team integrity and wipe the egg off your face. At this point Gregory is a messy omelette! Wipe it off!

  • Travis Diggs

    This is the problem with these NFL players We give them long leashes because of their talent This guy has done NOTHING in Dallas to gain the fans respect or interest. Why is this guy still on the roster??? At least with Martavis Bryant we’ve seen his possibility but What have we seen outta Randy to make us believe otherwise. Get rid of this guy already This shouldn’t even be a question Doesn’t a certain amount of dirty urines get you banned for life anyway ???

  • Russ_Te

    4 Strikes and you’re still on the Cowboys if you have speed to the QB… ;^)

    Some of the question revolves around cap hit if at all. Is he getting paid? Because I want such a deal…

    If Gregory was on his last strike with Jones, I don’t know why the release would not have been immediate after this last test.

    If he were to actually rehab as an addict and a player – meaning production in 2018 or something – it would be the most improbable one I’ve ever seen in sports.

  • Russ_Te

    I will say it was flat unfair IMO of the NFL to let Gregory resume for that last 2 weeks of 2016 regular season, and then cancel his playoffs on penalties not yet served.

    When Tom Brady lost his appeal for cheating in the 2014/15 AFC Title Game, his playoffs for 2015/16 were not cancelled. He was allowed to serve it at the start of the 2016 season.

    Now look at the play Aaron Rodgers made scrambling left and hitting an impossible throw to set up the Packers winning FG against Dallas in the playoffs last year. If Gregory is suited up, he’s
    likely in the game at RDE on that down, and the one player with the speed to run Rodgers down before he could unload that ball.

    The next week at home against Atlanta would have been a toss up, and then look how poorly the Patriots played in the Super Bowl before Atlanta imploded down the stretch. Sacking Rodgers on that throw or forcing a bad throw, might have been the difference for the Cowboys winning their 6th Lombardi.

    And then the Gregory adventure would have had a payoff to it… ;^)

  • dallas1966

    Kevin, I heard Stephen Jones, speak on this topic on pro football talk, this am.

    Stephen is in step with his Dad, by saying the decade old Marijuana policy need to be re-evaluated. My opinion is that it’s the 21st century, and public perception of Marijuana has changed, to were several states, including, the district of columbia, has legalize Marijuana.

    Since the NFL sponsors saturated the games by bombarding it’s customers, with ads on pharmaceuticals and alcohol ads, both can be abused and can be addictive, yet the NFL, turns a blind eye, but yet wants to be the morality police.

    I’m agreeing with Jerry and Stephen on this one. If Gregory, is smoking for theropudic reeasos, to assisting him with his bipolar, the I say , Gregory needs to be on the football field. Enough said

  • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

    Gregory would rather be stoned than play football. Cut him now and he can smoke as much weed as he can afford.

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Brian Martin

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Will Terrance Williams be Back with Cowboys in 2018?

Each offseason tough decisions have to be made by teams around the NFL, and the Dallas Cowboys are no exception. Teams have to decide who to promote, who to demote, and who to cut ties with altogether. For the Cowboys, Terrance Williams fits into one of those three categories, but which one?

It was plainly obvious that the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers all had an extremely disappointing 2017 season.

Everybody has their own opinion as to why this happened, but one thing is for sure, the Cowboys coaching staff will definitely look at ways to get more out of their receiving core. The one player who I think could be affected most by whatever decision the coaching staff ends up making is Terrance Williams.

Williams didn’t do much to make a case for keeping his starting job in 2017, let alone sticking on the roster.

To say he had a disappointing season would be an understatement.

Williams finished the 2017 season with just 53 receptions for 568 receiving yards and absolutely zero touchdowns. The Cowboys were likely hoping for more production from someone they just signed to a four-year, $17-million contract extension back in March [2017].

Now, you can make the argument Williams took a team discount in order to stay in Dallas, but that doesn’t carry much weight when your production leaves so much to be desired. This is especially true when there might be somebody on the roster who can do just as well, and possibly be an upgrade.

Noah Brown

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about Noah Brown.

I know I’m not alone here, but I think Noah Brown could easily replace Terrance Williams’ production. I understand that there’s not much evidence to back up that statement based on Brown’s rookie season, but he has all the tools required to succeed.

This is really all about potential, and Noah Brown simply has more upside than Terrance Williams.

We all know what Terrance Williams is as a receiver, and what he brings to the table for the Cowboys offense. I believe Noah Brown can do all the things Williams does and has the potential to be even better.

I already think Noah Brown is a better blocker, something the Cowboys coaching staff really values about Williams. I also think Brown is a better pass catcher. He is a natural hands catcher and has a large catching radius, something Williams obviously isn’t (body catcher).

Right now, Williams is only better than Noah Brown in a few areas. He is slightly faster, he’s more advanced as a route runner, and has more experience. That’s about it.

This will obviously be a tough decision for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to make. But, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Terrance Williams playing somewhere else when the 2018 season kicks off.

Do you think Terrance Williams will be with the Cowboys in 2018?

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Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?

Sean Martin

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Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Three of the four teams remaining in the NFL playoffs — a win away from the Super Bowl — ranked within the top four defensively in yards per game allowed this season. The other is the defending-champion New England Patriots, who of course were expected to reach yet another AFC Championship game, thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Somewhere between this field, losing their 2017 hopes at a deep playoff run to injuries, suspensions, and just poor execution at times, are the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys ranked eighth in yards allowed per game at 318.1 this season.

On the surface, all this provides hope that typically springs eternal around the league through the offseason.

It has been far too long since the Cowboys defense matched the skill level of the team’s offense, but Rod Marinelli’s unit (not exactly by design) outplayed that of Scott Linehan’s at times through this 9-7 campaign.

This defensive rebuild in Dallas began with the admission that this group had reached their ceiling in the offseason, as the Cowboys let long-time starters like CB Morris Claiborne, CB Brandon Carr, S Barry Church (now with the Jaguars), and S J.J. Wilcox go in free agency.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense?

Dallas Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods (AP Photo / Ron Jenkins)

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, looking to turn over an entire secondary in a division featuring Carson Wentz, Eli Manning, and Kirk Cousins as quickly as the Cowboys did was a risky move. Their confidence in hitting on draft picks paid off though.

The Cowboys’ bright future is predicated on the likes of CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Jourdan Lewis, and S Xavier Woods.

With two young starters at cornerback, the sky truly is the limit the this Cowboys defense. And they’ll play in support of an offense with more than enough talent to return to form in 2018.

As it stands now under Rod Marinelli, the Cowboys defense is built to keep everything in front of them, and get bodies to the football. This coverage-friendly approach could be taken to new heights with Lewis and Awuzie on the outside, along with Anthony Brown finding a home in the slot. All three cornerbacks have excelled at using their speed, length, and technique to get their hands on passes.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Of course, games are won in the trenches, where the idea of the Cowboys defensive line ever rising to the level of their offensive line was laughable until recently. Whether it’s with the franchise tag or a long-term extension, sack-artist DeMarcus Lawrence looks to be an all-important member of this entire team moving forward.

A healthy Lawrence was a nightmare for opposing right tackles in 2017. He earned a national spotlight each week on his way to the quarterback 14-and-a-half times. Making it look easy at times, Lawrence is a refined rusher with the speed and power to win inside and out.

The RDE position remains a sore spot in need of talent as this Cowboys defense looks to take the next step, but there’s hope for the likes of Randy Gregory, Charles Tapper, and Taco Charlton to get the job done, along with veteran starter Tyrone Crawford.

With Crawford at RDE for much of 2017, running the ball against the Cowboys front was a tall order. His ability to capture the corner against left tackles came as a pleasant surprise to many, and once in position, the defensive captain chased down plenty of plays.

Tyrone Crawford wasn’t the only pleasant surprise on the Dallas Cowboys defensive line this season.

Rookie Taco Charlton looked like an entirely different player to close a first year in Dallas that began with completely uninspiring results. Charlton — having the physical traits to play at the next level — was never a question out of Michigan.

He may never be a player to take over games for a defense, which the Cowboys couldn’t have expected to find at DE selecting 28th overall, but an improved player at DE and DT could be an incredibly valuable asset for the Cowboys in 2018 and beyond.

This leaves the Cowboys linebacker corps, where we find the best example of young potential on the entire defense. Amazingly playing in all 16 games, LB Jaylon Smith is in line to take a massive step forward in year two.

Smith closed his season looking enticingly close to the player he was at Notre Dame, an encouraging sign as the Cowboys look to become less dependent on Sean Lee on this side of the ball.

Lee and Smith paired together would give the Cowboys a middle-of-the-field presence to rival the best in the league. Both players have exceptional range and awareness to run down plays from sideline to sideline.

Anthony Hitchens, an impending free agent, is another valuable piece at LB with his ready ability to play all three positions at a relatively high level.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Stefon Diggs racing to the end zone with no time left to send the Vikings to the NFC Championship game will be the lasting image of this past Divisional Round weekend, an offensive play that will live on forever.

A closer look at these games and the teams that survived them reveals a collective trust in defenses, a trust the Cowboys could be blissfully close to with their own young defense.

The Cowboys are likely losing one of the smarter minds behind their defense in recent years, with Matt Eberflus ticketed for Josh McDaniel’s staff, and are still in need of a secondary coach after not retaining Joe Baker. In a league where better talent typically prevails though, the possibility of the Cowboys building a championship defense for next season and beyond may not be far off.

With defenses in Jacksonville and Philadelphia providing the hope that both teams can pull off the impossible and reach the Super Bowl on Sunday, will defensive potential be enough for Dallas to get through this long offseason and start the even longer path back to their first NFC Championship game in 21 seasons?

Tell us what you think about “Are the Dallas Cowboys Building a Championship Defense?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Can Rico Gathers Make Cowboys Offense More “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Rico Gathers, Rams

The Dallas Cowboys unfortunately face all kinds of questions heading into the 2018 offseason. Right now, there are no answers to those questions, which means we’ll just have to sit back and take a wait-and-see approach. But, one question that absolutely has to be answered is how to make the Cowboys offense more Dak Prescott friendly.

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys had an extremely disappointing year in 2017. Suspensions and injuries are the main culprits for the disappointment, but the Dallas Cowboys haven’t really changed things much in the scheme or personnel to help Dak Prescott succeed.

The sad truth is, the Dallas Cowboys are still operating as if Tony Romo is the starting quarterback. It’s pretty much the same personnel and scheme, but it really doesn’t suit Prescott.

It’s time for that to change. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that will happen overnight.

The Cowboys spent years putting together the personnel to help Romo. Just when they thought they had the missing piece — by drafting Ezekiel Elliott, Romo sustained a back injury, pretty much ending his career.

Anyway you look at it, the offensive personnel needs to improve in order to make this team more “Dak-friendly”.

Enter Tight End Rico Gathers.

Rico Gathers

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

The Dallas Cowboys have invested two years in Rico Gathers’ development, but with the exception of a few flashes in preseason, they haven’t benefited from the fruits of their labor. The 2018 season should be Gathers’ coming-out party.

We all witnessed what the Cowboys offense looks like when they are forced to rely on the passing game. Dak Prescott struggled to find any kind of consistency throwing the ball — with the options he had at his disposal in 2017 — while Ezekiel Elliott served a six-game suspension.

Defenses decided to take Prescott’s favorite target out of the equation by bracketing Cole Beasley in coverage. Then, they also devoted extra attention Dez Bryant‘s way, making it difficult to get him the ball.

The only other option left really was Jason Witten on simple check downs.

And that is what the future Hall of Famer has been reduced to.

Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was. Yes, he is still a reliable target, but his age is starting to catch up to him, which has unfortunately robbed him of some of his athleticism. We will no longer see Witten stretch the field down the seam, or run many routes further than 10 yards.

That’s why I think Rico Gathers could be a difference maker in 2018, especially for Dak Prescott.

Prescott needs more than an outlet receiver at the TE position. No offense to Jason Witten, but that’s pretty much what he has become at this point in his career.

Rico Gathers on the other hand is not only different from Witten, but also provides a different skill set than any other TE on the Cowboys roster. He’s a big target with athleticism, who cannot only move the chains, but stretch the field and break tackles in the open field.

Gathers’ sheer size alone creates mismatch problems against smaller defensive backs and linebackers, but his athleticism should allow him to create separation, something which fits into what Prescott needs from his receivers.

There is no reason why the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff can’t find a way to incorporate Rico Gathers’ unique skill set into the offense. They may not truly trust him to be an every down player, but that’s not happening anyway, not with Jason Witten on the roster.

If it was me, I would have a few packages in the playbook specifically designed for Gathers. I not only think this will help him grow as a player, but help the Cowboys offense become more “Dak-friendly”.

Can Rico Gathers make the Cowboys offense more “Dak-friendly”?

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