IRVING, Texas (AP) Randy Gregory will be under contract when the Dallas Cowboys have their first full offseason practice next week.
The former Nebraska defensive end who slid to near the bottom of the second round in the draft because of issues off the field signed his four-year rookie deal Wednesday. The contract is worth $3.8 million, with a signing bonus of slightly more than $1 million.
He is the highest Dallas draft pick to sign so far. First-rounder Byron Jones, a cornerback from Connecticut, remains unsigned along with tackle Chaz Green (third round) and linebacker Damien Wilson (fourth round). The Cowboys' first offseason practice is Tuesday.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Gregory will have a chance to start as a rookie with free agent defensive end Greg Hardy suspended for the first 10 games because of his role in a domestic violence case. Hardy is appealing the suspension.
Some draft analysts had Gregory going in the top 10 before he tested positive for marijuana at the combine in February. He also missed one pre-draft meeting with a team and canceled two others. He said during rookie minicamp there were ''a lot of things'' he needed to do to develop as a person.
''I think the main thing is, like I've been saying, just be mature,'' said Gregory, who had 17 1/2 sacks in two seasons with the Cornhuskers. ''I've taken the right steps. I think I'm around the right guys and the right system. I really feel like this is the best place for that.''
Dallas essentially ended up with three projected first-round picks. LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins went undrafted after his name surfaced just days before the draft in an investigation of the shooting death of a woman he knew. Police have not identified him as a suspect. Collins signed with the Cowboys as a free agent.
''I think we expect a lot of big things from ourselves,'' Gregory said. ''We can't add any more pressure to ourselves, though. We've got to be the same player we've always been but try to get better.''
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