Mac Engel

‘I’m worth it’: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory finally on the field after suspensions

Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end Randy Gregory has been a consistent starter this season after he missed most of the last two years because of NFL suspensions.
Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end Randy Gregory has been a consistent starter this season after he missed most of the last two years because of NFL suspensions. AP

Randy Gregory can speak all day, but when it comes to talking to the media he would prefer not to do much of it. He knows what the story is.

Of the many players Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has gone out of his way to aid in the name of winning a football game, few have received the type of personal attention the way Randy Gregory has.

“I’m worth it,” he said. “That’s all I can say about that.”

Save for a few unsubstantiated rumors, nothing has happened with Gregory since he was reinstated by the NFL this summer for failing drug tests. He plays. Not much else has been said.

This does not mean this is all over for Randy Gregory, but for today, the Cowboys’ “ugly baby” is progressing. The Randy Gregory project can only be measured in days, and not by much else.

“It’s been worth it,” he said after the Cowboys’ 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. “I just ... you know, I try not to put too much focus on that. It’s in the past. I know it’s a big story for people who want to harp and talk about it. It is what it is. Focus on the future. Focus on now. And just leave it at that.”

The Cowboys’ plan to ease Gregory back into the NFL, predictably, died before Week 1. Once he was cleared by the NFL to return from his forever drug suspension, the Cowboys preferred to take it slowly with Gregory but they need him.

And when he’s played he has been an improving player, but not a dynamic rush end that Jerry envisioned when he selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. And it was Jerry who picked Gregory, not anyone else.

Gregory was a first round talent out of Nebraska who came with baggage. Jerry is cool with baggage, mostly because he loves a bargain and, when it works, that baggage turns into a Luis Vuitton.

As a player this season, Gregory is no designer luggage.

He has, however, played in eight games and has three sacks, including one each in the last two games. He has been a contributor to one of the NFL’s better defenses, which today is ranked eighth overall.

Everything is relative with Gregory. Because of his various suspensions by the NFL, he appeared in two games in 2016 and ‘17 combined.

When he played as rookie in 2015, he was limited because of a high ankle sprain.

“At the beginning of this season, I was frustrated. I try to tell myself I had not played in nearly two years,” he said. “I had not been healthy in a whole entire year. Being healthy now and getting some plays under my belt, it’s kinda showing on the field. That’s not to say it’s going to carry the whole entire year, but I fully expect it to, and to continue what I have to do on the field and off the field and go from there.”

From where the Cowboys sit today, to say Randy Gregory has been worth it is premature. From the moment they drafted him in 2015, they went through a lot just to reach this point.

The Randy Gregory project can be measured in days, and as of today, their ugly baby is progressing.

Players from the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys had to be separated ahead of their NFC East game on November 11 after both teams became involved in a scuffle while sharing the field during warmups.

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