FRISCO - Randy Gregory will tell you he is on a path to self-discovery. He's also on a path to opposing NFL quarterbacks, and the two trails intertwine as he learns more about what makes him tick.
His latest self-taught lesson?
“I know there’s a fine line,'' the Dallas Cowboys defensive end said, reflecting on his impressive two-sack game last Sunday in the 35-29 OT win at New England. "But I feel like when I get pissed off I talk a little bit of shit and I tend to play a little better.”
Cowboys Nation's obvious response?
Gregory, with his trash-talk, his heat-seeking speed and now his bull-rush ability as well, is part of a long list of play-makers who've pushed Dallas to its 5-1, Super Bowl-dreamy record. The Cowboys are riding a five-game win streak, leading the NFC East by three games, and resting this weekend on their bye. Quarterback Dak Prescott is taking time to rehab a calf strain and is an MVP candidate. Cornerback Trevon Diggs is the NFL leader for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Linebacker Micah Parsons is a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate. And running back Ezekiel Elliott, tight end Dalton Schultz, offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Zack Martin and receiver CeeDee Lamb are all performing at a Pro Bowl level.
And Gregory, who amazingly arrived in Dallas way back in 2015 as a second-round pick? He's fulfilling all of that promise, justifying all of the Cowboys' patience, enjoying all of the results of his self-help efforts ... oh, and this is a contract year for him as well.
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“I’m just glad to be back,” Tank says. “Thankful I can play this game of football that I love.”
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"Randy's on a roll now," said coach Mike McCarthy of the Nebraska product, who has five sacks in Dallas' six games. "He's put four games together now that are outstanding."
Gregory is often heralded here inside The Star as a uniquely intelligent and uniquely athletic person. Prescott can testify to some of that.
Said Dak: "Randy is a special player. We're very fortunate that we’re not going against him on Sundays. He gives us headaches all week long (in practice). ... On Sundays he’s making plays, and making plays that make a difference in the game. He’s grown so much in every aspect of his life.”
We've written a great deal in this space about how stories on Randy Gregory should focus on him as a person, not as just a football player. But for Cowboys fans, it's surely a thrill that he's succeeding now in both areas.
“Me,'' he said, I talk a lot during the game. I think that’s part of the game. There’s some people that need that aspect of the game to get going.''
Fine. It's working. Randy Gregory is obviously "getting going.''
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