Dallas Cowboys

NFL suspends Randy Gregory for 1 year, effective immediately

The NFL has made it official with Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory.

He has been suspended for one year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

The suspension is effective immediately. He is out for the playoffs and he will miss all of next season.

Per the league’s collective bargaining agreement, Gregory can apply for reinstatement Nov. 6, 2017 — 60 days before the one-year anniversary date of the letter banishing him.

This is Gregory’s third suspension by the NFL since he joined the Cowboys as a second-round pick in 2015.

He was initially suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. An additional 10 games were added after he again violated the drug policy.

He then missed a test while serving his suspension, resulting in the year-long ban.

Gregory met with the league to appeal the ban on Tuesday in hopes of avoiding the suspension.

But the league officially rejected his appeal Thursday, thus enforcing the year-long suspension. Gregory practiced with the team on Wednesday and Thursday before the final ruling.

Gregory and the Cowboys were hoping against hope after he played in the final two regular-season games following his 14-game suspension. He recorded his first career sack in the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Owner Jerry Jones readily acknowledged that having Gregory on the field would be a boost to the defense in the playoffs because of what he brings as a pass rusher.

But counting on Gregory has been a risk for the Cowboys ever since they gambled on him in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Clarence Hill: 817-390-7760, @clarencehilljr

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