Randy Gregory was one of then ten best players in the 2015 NFL Draft. But off-field issues saw him slip down draft boards until he was the last man left in the green room. The Cowboys eventually selected him 60th overall and coach Jason Garrett promptly acknowledged that "We have to help him with some of the off-the-field stuff and we're excited about that challenge."
And Gregory added at the time: “The franchise that drafts me won't have to worry about me off the field, but the teams that didn't select me will have to worry about me on the field.”
Last week we learned that Gregory has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Gregory somehow failed a drug test at last year's NFL combine. Reportedly, that failed test entered him into the NFL's substance-abuse program, which means he likely failed three more tests to get this suspension.
On Sunday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones issued a statement on this latest development.
“This is a disappointment," he said through the team's website. "We have been clear with Randy about what his responsibilities are and what is expected of him. This is something that he is going to have to work through and correct.”
Gregory's suspension not only means that the Cowboys will be down a very good pass rusher for the first month of the season, but that said pass rusher won't collect $143,000 in earnings and could affect another $370,000 in guaranteed money.
If Gregory fails another test he'll face a 10-game suspension and then it's at least a 12-month ban.
"It starts with me," Gregory said last spring, shortly after the Cowboys drafted him. "I made a couple of bad decisions and at that point, everyone took it and spun it however which way then wanted. Right now, I'm just trying to rebuild my image, trying to focus on being the best professional I can, make as many plays on the field as I can, keep the coaches happy, keep Mr. Jones happy. The past is the past. I'm trying to look forward to the future."
Unless Gregory changes, the future will be one that doesn't include football.