Report: Cowboys 'Giving Up Hope' On Randy Gregory Return

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - It is a natural mistake to assume that because the reinstatement of Aldon Smith occurred in time for the new defensive end to join the Dallas Cowboys for the 2020 season, another defensive end in the NFL's substance abuse program, Randy Gregory, would follow suit.

But we've often cautioned in this space that each circumstance is different and that the odds of true behavioral change and readiness can be steep. It therefore rings true that Gregory - who according to his camp two months was working his way toward a request for reinstatement - is not subject to the Cowboys having “all but given up hope,” as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting.

Gregory, 27 and a former second-round NFL Draft pick in 2015, missed the entire 2019 season while under indefinite suspended. He is presently serving his fourth suspension for violation of the NFL’s substances of abuse policy.

Gregory, whose last reinstatement came in July of 2018, allowing him to play that entire season, has often told of his optimistic plans. And the bright and thoughtful Gregory has seemed sincere about those plans, in part because there is every indication that unlike another defensive lineman who often gets tossed into this conversation, David Irving, Gregory truly seems to have a passion for the game.

But not even the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which ends the policy of suspending players for positive marijuana tests, is enough if for whatever reason the player is not physically or psychologically ready. Some media outlets have erroneously assumed that the change in the rules cleared an easy path to "reliability'' for the Cowboys as it relates to Gregory.

Those media outlets have clearly never visited with the Cowboys people who employ and care about Gregory ... as those people have never used the word "reliable.'' That doesn't mean there can't be "hope'' for the future ...

But in Randy Gregory's case, the concerns continue to be his ability to function happily in society.

And any concerns beyond that - including Dallas Cowboys concerns - remain secondary at best.