NFL reinstates Cowboys DE Gregory from yearlong suspension
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory, who was suspended all of last season over multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, was reinstated Tuesday.
Gregory can join the Cowboys at training camp in California next week and will be eligible for games as long as he continues to meet the terms of his reinstatement, the league said. The team reports to Oxnard on July 24, two days before its first practice.
The NFL said Gregory was immediately eligible for meetings, conditioning work and “similar activities” and would be cleared for practices and games once “arrangements have been confirmed regarding Gregory’s clinical resources in Dallas.”
The 25-year-old Gregory last played in the 2016 regular-season finale, when the former Nebraska standout had his first career sack at the end of his second season. He was suspended before Dallas’ playoff loss to Green Bay, his third suspension of the season.
Gregory slid to the Cowboys at the end of the second round in 2015 because of off-field concerns that included a positive test for marijuana at the NFL combine.
The Cowboys have backed Gregory’s attempt to return to the field, with several teammates writing letters of recommendation to the NFL as part of the process of him applying for reinstatement.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones, whose recent second-round gambles in the draft haven’t paid off, has praised Gregory’s character repeatedly during the pass rusher’s absence.
Gregory was considered one of the best pass rushers in his draft, and there was promise early with a strong rookie training camp. Gregory vowed he wanted to make good on his word to Jones that he could control his issues with marijuana.
But he only made it through one season, and didn’t have a sack while missing four games with an ankle injury.
The first suspension was announced in February 2016, and he was away from the team during training camp while in rehab. The second suspension came seven months later. Gregory remained with the team while serving the 14-game ban before playing in the final two games.
The yearlong suspension kept Gregory from participating in club activities and banned him from team facilities except for sessions with the person in charge of his treatment.