For a 27-3 loss, there was a surprisingly small amount of concern surrounding the Dallas Cowboys after their third preseason game Sunday night. While a group of primarily backup players struggled on the offensive side of the ball, the fact that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott sat this one out didn’t bring a massive amount of concern.
But then there was the defensive side of the ball, which brought one key name a plenty of optimism to the table. Defensive end Randy Gregory, the Cowboys’ 2015 second-round pick, is making his return from a long suspension which he was fully reinstated from back in July. Gregory missed 30 of the past 32 regular-season games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy multiple times.
But on Sunday in the loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys defensive end flashed the tremendous upside, totaling three combined tackles and, two quarterback hits and one sack. After the game, though, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports created a bit of a ruckus on social media with one tweet about Gregory.
While that threw some cold water on the hype surrounding Gregory, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did his best to address the pass-rusher’s status. As Kate Hairopoulos of SportsDay revealed, Jones expects to have the 25-year-old on the field in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers.
“Owner Jerry Jones said Sunday that he expects Gregory to be on the field when Dallas opens the season Sept. 9 at Carolina.”
“But Jones has continued to reference the day-to-day challenges of Gregory’s situation every time he speaks of him and when he was asked about Gregory’s status Sunday.” Hairopoulos stated.
Jones went as far as calling Gregory “day-to-day,” but admitted the team feels they can plan on him being on the field.
“Let’s just put it like this, his deal is day-to-day,” Jones said Sunday. “Randy came into this league as an outstanding player, there’s no question about his talent. Having said that, we’ve just got to continue to work. … We wouldn’t have put him out there if we couldn’t plan on him.
“You saw it [Sunday], and you’ve seen in his other work really this entire training camp that he gives us some real additional pressure.”
While there’s no specifics in terms of possible concerns or situations looming with Gregory, the Cowboys seem locked in on trying to help their young pass-rusher. As for his Week 1 status, he’s been productive on the field and was reinstated, so all things are pointing in the right direction.
Now, it just comes down to making sure Gregory remains prepared for the season and focused on the task at hand.
Source: Heavy Sports