Will the Cowboys’ Faith in Troubled DE Randy Gregory Pay Off?

Getty SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 13: Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys on the sidelines before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on August 13, 2015 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is reportedly set to file for reinstatement soon, leaving the team cautiously optimistic that they could have their embattled pass-rusher back for part, if not most of next season.

Gregory was handed an indefinite suspension for violating the the terms of his conditional reinstatement in February, but according to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Gregory will file for reinstatement within the next 10 days.

While it’s unknown what kind of ban the league would hand down for Gregory’s fourth suspension, the Cowboys are hoping to have him back for training camp so he can be with the team as they head to Southern California later this month.

Entering his fifth year in the league, Gregory has been suspended for more games (30) than he’s played (28). However, when on the field, even as a part-time player, Gregory has shown why the Cowboys have stuck with him. Last season, the former second-round pick tallied six sacks and 25 tackles in 14 games. His sack total was second to only Pro Bowler, DeMarcus Lawrence.

Even with his latest suspension looming, the team decided to extend Gregory this offseason, with his contract now running through the 2020 season.

There was a good reason why. Coming in the new 2021 CBA could be a revised policy on marijuana use, which has been the main reason Gregory has found himself on the sideline so often. ESPN’s Dan Graziano suspects the the penalty for marijuana would be “significantly smaller, if not completely eliminated, under the new deal.”

“There seems to be strong feeling on both sides that the current punishments on the CBA books for marijuana violations are extreme and outdated, and some on the owners’ side have even suggested eliminating marijuana testing altogether,” Graziano reported. “The two sides are exploring the best way to address this issue, including adopting something like the NHL model, which tests players for marijuana but does not punish them for using it.

If that ends up being the case, all the time and faith the Cowboys have invested in Gregory would pay off big time, as the former Cornhusker would have a much greater likelihood of staying on the field.

Both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have thrown their support behind Gregory as he tries to get back on the field.

“Without going into the details of all the things that he’s done to try to get to a point where he can play for us, it’s been a very serious approach as an organization and his approach has been serious,” Garrett said. “He’s been able to make strides. He’s been able to come back and play for us and be a very productive player and a productive guy in our locker room.

“Unfortunately, my understating of all this is that sometimes relapse is a part of rehab. And so we’re working through the process of the suspension right now with the NFL,” Garrett continued. “But Randy Gregory is working very hard to try to get back and get the situation under control, and we’re doing everything that we can under the rules to help him do that.”

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