Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has been suspended by the NFL for substance abuse, according to the NFL website. Though he’s still eligible for practice and off-season activities, Gregory will not be allowed to play in the first four games of the regular season. The second-year player will also not be paid for those games. The suspension puts the Cowboys in a very bad position and might affect their plans.
Talent has never been the question when it comes to Randy Gregory. When it comes to what he can do on a football field, Gregory should have been selected within the first ten picks of the NFL Draft. He’s that good. When they chose him in the second round, the Dallas Cowboys were hoping that he could team up with Greg Hardy and Demarcus Lawrence to provide the terrifying pass rush like the one that DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller provide for the Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos.
The problem with Randy Gregory is his passion for marijuana. Even though he knew that the scouting combines were coming up, Gregory still could not resist smoking. He tested positive, which scared away a lot of NFL teams. Randy has admitted publicly to having issues with marijuana for years now. Gregory claims that he no longer struggles with it, but the suspension states otherwise.
Usually, a four-game suspension on a substance abuse violation means that the player has failed the test four times. NFL teams might be more willing to look the other way if a person fails the test once. However, when it becomes a habitual thing, then that’s when you start questioning if the person is really passionate about playing football. If not, then it may be time to move on from that person, regardless of how talented and how much potential they have.
The suspension is something that Randy Gregory definitely does not need. His development on the field was already slowed last year by a high ankle sprain, causing him to be limited for the rest of his rookie season. What the Dallas Cowboys needed from Randy Gregory was a full and strong off-season work. They also needed him to be available when the regular season starts in the fall.
A bigger fear for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a fifth failed drug test. That will automatically cause Randy Gregory to be suspended by the NFL for half a season. Not having a projected starting defense end for eight games is a very long time. Jones and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett were already considering adding more pass rushers through the draft this spring, but that now moves up higher on the priority list.
Improving the pass rush is just as important to the Dallas Cowboys as finding a backup quarterback for the often injured Tony Romo. Greg Hardy is a free agent, and the Cowboys feel that he might no longer be worth the trouble. Demarcus Lawrence, who played really well this past season, is coming off of back surgery. Jeremy Mincey is a free agent, and there’s a very good chance that another NFL team will lure him away with more money.
Many had hoped that Randy Gregory left his drug issues back at the University of Nebraska. Unfortunately, he decided to bring them with him on the professional level. There’s only so many available roster spots in the NFL. If he doesn’t figure a way to grow up, then Gregory is going to sacrifice his spot.
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