Dallas Cowboys

On a night to forget, rookie pass-rusher Randy Gregory stands tall

Cowboys rookie defensive end Randy Gregory chases 49ers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first half Sunday.
Cowboys rookie defensive end Randy Gregory chases 49ers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the first half Sunday. AP

The Cowboys weren’t pleased with most of what they saw Sunday in a 23-6 loss to the 49ers. That made the efforts of rookie defensive end Randy Gregory stand out even more.

Gregory was credited with two tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. He also drew two holding penalties.

“What you want to do, at least from my perspective, is see players, see aspects of players’ play, see things that are potentially more than you expected,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “and he is, and he has and he’s playing that way, played that way tonight, and I’m sure we’ll be able to take this game and this tape and break it down and see some very good things. In that sense, it’s not unfair to separate this from a regular preseason game. I think right now we’re just disappointed we didn’t make an overall better showing as a team, but certainly he’s one of the highlights. We’ll be able to take areas of this film, just like Randy, and do some good things with it.”

Gregory recorded a sack in the first preseason game against the Chargers, taking down Brad Sorensen. It’s one thing to do it against a third-string tackle and a third-string quarterback. It’s another entirely against a Pro Bowl tackle and a starting quarterback.

Gregory beat Joe Staley to take down 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for a 14-yard loss.

“That’s what we were hoping to get him in there [early] and get some good rushes,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “Just keep working now. Just another step.”

Gregory, who had four tackles, a sack and a pressure against the Chargers, recorded 25.5 sacks in two seasons at Nebraska, including 17 last season.

The Cowboys, who had only 28 sacks last season, used a second-round pick on the pass-rusher.

“This is what they brought me in for, I think,” Gregory said. “Obviously, I want to be the best overall player I can be, well-rounded, so working on other aspects of my game. But for the most part, I think I’ve done a good job of what they’ve asked me to do.”

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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