And he believes it’s possible he is on the field for the start of the 2019 season, despite being suspended indefinitely by the NFL last week for violating the substance abuse policy.
“For all the obvious reasons I don’t know,” Jones said when asked about Gregory being on the field in Week 1. “It’s certainly not impossible. But his status is his status. It is what it is. We are going to do everything we can to try to have him overcome this hurdle to get in position to have him help us and he wants to do that.”
This is Gregory’s fourth suspension by the NFL under the drug policy.
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He was suspended for the entire 2017 season and was reinstated for training camp last year, beginning what was billed as a triumphant return to the game. He played in 14 games and had five sacks.
But he was then flagged again by the NFL.
The Cowboys have remained by his side because as coach Jason Garrett said, they understand relapse is part of rehab.
They are still smitten by his talent and production, which was proved last season.
And they are enthralled with how genuine he is as a person, Jones said.
“He’s a pure soul first and foremost, the proof of that is how he’s thought of everybody around him, teammates coaches everyone,” Jones responded when asked why they continue to support Gregory. “He’s genuinely afflicted, genuinely. It’s real. He has to work through, just as you would many things as human beings. He has to work through this, and the way he works through it, the way he deals with his circumstances. It’s impressive. It may not look that impressive when you say ‘look at the penalties that he’s endured,’ but it is impressive. He’s trying to work through it. Everybody on this team knows that he is. He’s an outstanding player by instincts, mentally, physically, he’s outstanding. He doesn’t pretend to be anything that he isn’t.
“I am by no means, in any way, weary, discouraged. As a matter of fact with his contribution that he made last year, we’d like to have more. But what we did get, the impact he made was there. He did nothing but would encourage me to help him in any way we can to have a career. He’s a relatively young guy. He’s in excellent, relatively speaking for what he plays and what he’s been through as his position, he’s relatively healthy. He’s a guy we can invest some of our time in to help him get here and it will help us win.”