Cowboys Gregory: COVID Is Delaying My NFL Reinstatement
FRISCO - Moments after a recent news item alleging Dallas Cowboys-related doubts about the 2020 NFL reinstatement of Randy Gregory, the suspended defensive end - angered by the report - communicated to me that the media was getting it all wrong.
On Wednesday, Gregory got more specific.
"I really miss playing football and being a player in the NFL,'' Gregory said in a.released a statement on Wednesday, blaming the coronavirus pandemic for the delay in his reinstatement to the NFL. "I'm doing everything that is asked of me and I'm in great shape physically, mentally, and emotionally but I'm being held back from furthering my career because of Covid and testing,
“I've been ready to play and test for months but still have gotten little to no help to resolve my reinstatement. I'm asking more questions than I'm getting answered.”
But Gregory isn’t blaming the virus and its caused circumstances alone. He also claims “the powers that be” are at fault.
Wrote Gregory: “It's amazing that the powers that be can keep passing the buck and also use the pandemic as a way to prevent me from joining my team. Telling me to just sit and wait in limbo over things I can't control, all the while doing everything right off the field is unfair and flat out wrong!!!"
Back in May, we believed that Gregory was "working through the process” of getting back into the NFL, complete with the assumption of a petition filed with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Then came a report that the Cowboys had “all but given up hope” that Gregory will be reinstated from his indefinite suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Gregory disagrees with the framework of that report, and told me so. (“Be better, Fish,” he said.) Nevertheless, I predicted the Cowboys were facing "a challenging path" to get the defensive end back on the football field.
Gregory does not like that characterization of his situation, either.
COO Stephen Jones has since said the organization remains hopeful here. That may be true - and Gregory’s version of the hold-up story may be as well. In any event, as a result of my many conversations with the gifted former second-round pick - including recent less-than-smooth conversations - I’ve stressed that this really needs to be about Gregory the person rather than Gregory the football player.
Here’s hoping that Randy Gregory is ready to succeed in both departments - and that his speaking out at “the powers that be” helps to clear his desired path.