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Why Dallas Cowboys Shouldn’t Expect Too Much From Randy Gregory

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Will Randy Gregory Become The New Rookie Sack Master? 1

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.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

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".

What do you think the Dallas Cowboys are expecting from DE Randy Gregory?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Tim Hargrave

    June 12, 2018 at 8:51 am

    It might take him a little while to get back in shape, but i expect him to have a good 2nd half of the season and when we get to the playoffs he will be about 95% to 100% back to where he was… So please stop with all that negative BS. He will get stronger every game.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 9:24 am

      You’re right, he should be much better in the second half of the season. But, I’m talking about expecting too much from him right away. It’s highly doubtful he’ll be able to step right back on the field and contribute right away. I wasn’t being negative, just realistic.

  2. Chuck Wright

    June 12, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Guy hasn’t played a down of football in over 2 years.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 9:25 am

      That’s exactly why we should limit our expectations for him right away. That’s a lot of time away from the game.

  3. Travis Diggs

    June 12, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I wanna know how you miss two years and just come back and automatically get a roster spot without proving it on the field

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Exactly!

    • Russ_Te

      June 13, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Gregory has a lot to get done in camp if reinstated by the league. Has to show enough football skills to warrant being given time to build more game back, and Garrett has to believe in his rehab. You figure this is his last strike on the Cowboys.

      He’s certainly aware of all that, we just have to hope it’s motivating for him as a person and a Cowboy. If we get him back and he’s not flunking his drug screens, then he fits the DL well in it’s rotations. Just has to work long downs and crash the backfield from RDE. If we got that + Irving + Lawrence all year, it’s going to stop a lot of drives and determine a lot of games.

  4. Zac H

    June 12, 2018 at 10:44 am

    If the defensive line rotates how Marinelli has built it to, then he should be able to get some good reps in throughout the season. The fact that we aren’t dying for another defensive lineman for once will give us the upper hand in this situation. Hoping he can pull it together and help Dallas beat up Eli/Wentz/Smith!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 11:08 am

      I could see Gregory getting some work as a rotational pass rush specialist, but I think that’s about as much as we should expect from him if he’s reinstated.

  5. Ervinlang318

    June 12, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Just Curious why he waited to file a month ago when he was eligible to turn his paperwork at the end of the season.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Both Gregory and his team wanted to put together the best case possible for his reinstatement.

      • Ervinlang318

        June 12, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Ah Gotcha

  6. Charles

    June 12, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    My real question is considering how much time he has missed how much longer do we retain his rights?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      June 12, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      I believe the Cowboys still have his rights for three more years. I don’t think his year-long suspension counted as an accured season, much like Jaylon Smith missing time his rookie season because of his knee injury.

      • Charles

        June 12, 2018 at 10:22 pm

        Okay thanks for the info.

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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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