Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett: ‘Our eyes were wide open’ with suspended DE Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended for the first four games in 2016 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended for the first four games in 2016 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. AP

Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys are disappointed with defensive end Randy Gregory, who has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

But Garrett said the Cowboys were not blindsided by Gregory’s troubles with substance abuse and drafted him in the second-round last year with their eyes wide open.

Gregory was a first-round talent out Nebraska who fell to the second round because he failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine last year. Garrett said he has not spoken to Gregory since his suspension was announced last week, but he says rookie defensive end must be accountable for his actions and find a way to move forward.

“We felt like we put a really good structure in place for him to help him overcome it,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately, over the course of the season, he slipped up. He made a mistake.

“There are no excuses. We’re all disappointed with what that is, but now we have to move forward. He has to move forward, he has to put it behind him.”

Gregory has failed four tests in the past year. Combine that with problems keeping defensive end Greg Hardy under control and it has the organization re-evaluating how they handle players deemed character risks.

Garrett the Cowboys are not going to stop taking chances on guys but they will use these experiences to do things better.

“We always evaluate everything we do,” Garrett said. “You always want to make those learning experiences for you, and you want to do it better. We have to do it better, and we’ll continue to do that.

“We value high character players on our team. We have a team made up of them.”

The Cowboys coach spoke at the combine Wednesday.

Star-Telegram Cowboys writers Charean Williams and Clarence Hill weigh the team's many needs and offer up their prediction for the all-important first rounder.

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