Owner Jerry Jones said the Dallas Cowboys have not received official word from the NFL on an additional suspension for troubled defensive end Randy Gregory.
But he acknowledges that Gregory is in a treatment facility and won’t joining the team for the start of training camp on Thursday.
Gregory, who was already suspended for the first four games of 2016 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, has failed another drug test, putting him in the cross hairs of an additional 10-game suspension, according to sources.
“I don’t have that or any expectation at this particular time,” Jones said following at “a topping out” ceremony for the new Omni Frisco Hotel at the Star, the site of the Cowboys headquarters. “We are basically seeing where he is. We have no official notification from your league. We are first and foremost interested in how he can basically address his addiction and get to where he can function in society first and then look to be a football player second.
“It’s very disappointing. And there is no question he needs the kind of health and care he is getting right now.”
Gregory is appealing the suspension for the latest failed test, per sources.
But given his situation and current status in a treatment facility, sources indicate that Gregory might not play at all this season.
Jones said the team continues to support Gregory and wants him to get his life together.
Jones said that Gregory’s battle with dependency is not a surprise and the Cowboys weren’t counting on him to play this year.
“We’ve had an awareness that this potential was there and we have had it throughout the spring,” Jones said. “There are no surprises here. Because of the sanctions and our knowledge of his situation, we didn’t count on him.”
Gregory’s situation is a setback for the Cowboys on the field and off the field.
He is one of three starters on defense who will open the season on the suspended list. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is out for the first four games for violating the substance abuse policy. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain will miss the first 10 games for violating the substance abuse policy.
The Cowboys will be fined by the NFL under the club remittance policy for having three players on suspension. That number would have been $250,000 last year. Per the NFL, the policy for this year is still being finalized and the fine won’t be tabulated until the end of the season.
Jones said the Cowboy will not change their philosophy on taking chances on risky players. He said the team has no regrets on taking Gregory on second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Gregory was a first-round talent out of Nebraska who fell to the second round because of a failed drug test at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.
He has subsequently failed five drug tests since being in the NFL and had zero sacks as rookie.
“We drafted him right where we should have,” Jones said. “He fell from the very top of the board to the second round and you can take risks there where we got him. We do that. We do it with injury and we do it with other issues. We are not buying bonds. This isn’t a widows portfolio we are dealing with him. There are going to be some risks involved.”