It's been nearly a month since Randy Gregory officially submitted papers for reinstatement with the NFL and it will be at least another month until he hears any kind of response. But, that hasn't stopped Dallas Cowboys fans from speculating as to what kind of player he will be upon his return.
We all know how talented Randy Gregory was coming out of Nebraska and the only reason he slid to the Cowboys in the second-round was because of his off the field drug-related problems. He was without a doubt a top 10 talent in the 2015 NFL Draft, which is why Dallas took a chance on him to begin with. It's that talent fans are hoping he can bring to the Cowboys defense.
We all witnessed firsthand what happens to a player when they are finally able to put everything together last season when DeMarcus Lawrence took the league by storm. Like Gregory, he had his off the field problems early in his career and on top of that reoccurring back injuries kept him from playing up to his potential. But, once he was able to put all of that behind him he absolutely dominated. Fans are hoping for the same with Gregory.
I don't know where you personally stand on what you expect if/when Randy Gregory returns to the Dallas Cowboys, but I'm not expecting very much and I'll tell you why.
As much as I would love to see Randy Gregory return from his suspension and absolutely dominate, I am going to pump the brakes and try to be realistic with my expectations. It would make a fantastic comeback story, but I think it's important to not to expect too much right now.
It's a little difficult to know exactly what kind of player Randy Gregory will be if the NFL decides to reinstate him. He only played in 12 games as a rookie before his off the field struggles started to earn him a suspension after suspension. The last suspension ended up costing him an entire year, which has to be the most concerning for fans, and the Dallas Cowboys, moving forward.
He has missed so much time in his development it's hard to imagine him being able to step back on the field and pick up where he left off. Training on your own is completely different from being in a NFL strength and conditioning program. I don't think he will be anywhere near being “football” ready.
I kind of doubt he has been training in pads or taking hits during his time off. Those kind of things can't be replicated very easily off on your own. That's not even mentioning his mental state. Has he gotten his life together? Will he have a relapse? Is he mentally ready to study and play once again?
These are all questions that will need to be answered if/when he is reinstated for the Cowboys. While it's a nice story to believe he can just jump right back in and become a difference making pass rusher, it's important to not expect too much right away.
The Dallas Cowboys mantra after all is “Trust the Process”.