^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4
| Sports |

Cowboys Defensive End Randy Gregory Suspended Indefinitely

The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory indefinitely Tuesday afternoon. It's the fourth time the 2015 draftee has been pinched by the league for violating its substance-abuse policy. Gregory has previously admitted to using marijuana to help cope with chronic anxiety.

The Cowboys have been here before with Gregory. After playing in 12 games as a rookie, the lanky pass rusher missed the first 14 games of the 2016 season, before missing all of 2017. When he could get on the field, Gregory used his speed and incredible raw skills to make plays, regardless of how much rust he needed to knock off.

Gregory, talented enough to have been a top-10 draft pick, failed two drug tests in college at Nebraska and another at the NFL's scouting combine. Having earned the dreaded "character issues" label, he slid in the draft, falling to the Cowboys in the second round. Opinions ran both ways on the selection, with one side believing the Cowboys had pulled a fast one and picked up one of the best players in the draft and another believing Gregory didn't have the makeup to be a consistent contributor in the NFL.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

While the Cowboys have stuck with Gregory over the last four years, it's hard to imagine that this isn't the end of the road for him and the team. Before his latest suspension, Gregory was enrolled in Stage 3 of the NFL's drug program, meaning he was subject to, among other conditions, as many as 10 unannounced drug tests a month and mandatory treatment.

Any player in Stage 3 who fails to meet the conditions set by the league faces a minimum one-year ban. After a year, the player can apply for reinstatement but must prove he was clean the entire time he was out, provide proof of drug treatment and go through a series of meetings with league personnel. It's no guarantee that a player who picks up a suspension after already being enrolled in Stage 3 will ever be reinstated. Gregory, an undeniably outstanding talent, might never play football again for using a substance that is legal for recreational use in 10 states and for medical use in 33 states.

Before Tuesday's suspension announcement, the Cowboys had a need to fill at defensive tackle, thanks to a lack of depth and the likely departure of David Irving. Without Gregory in their pass rush rotation, defensive end is now a position of need in the draft and free agency, as well.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.