Since becoming the 60th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory has played in only 28 of 64 possible games largely due to three suspensions imposed by the league. Despite , Gregory recently received some stability in the form of a contract extension.
According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Cowboys have extended Gregory's contract through the 2020 season. Pelissero added that the team remains hopeful they'll have Gregory on the field in 2019.
A day after acquiring Robert Quinn last week, the #Cowboys quietly extended suspended DE Randy Gregory’s contract through 2020. $310K of existing 2019 salary converted to signing bonus. Added year worth $735K, more with escalator. Team has stayed hopeful Gregory plays in 2019.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2019
There's no doubting Gregory's potential. He's only 26, so he's still young enough to cash in on his potential. And when he has been eligible to play, he has flashed the traits that made him a compelling prospect out of Nebraska (). This past season, he played in 14 games and racked up six sacks and 15 quarterback hits, both of which were career highs.
It's all about remaining eligible to play. He was then all of the 2017 season., another , and
Despite his latest suspension, the Cowboys have continued to support Gregory.
"Our eyes were wide open about what Randy's situation was when we drafted him," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said at the combine, per NFL.com. "We fully support Randy. Randy is a good young man. He has some issues that he's been dealing with. He's tried to deal with those issues head-on, from Day 1. He's spent a lot of time getting professional help for his issues. He's worked very hard. He's very serious-minded about trying to get back and being an established NFL football player. And he did a really good job for us this year after working through a lot of different obstacles. Unfortunately, he's had a setback, and he's not going to be with us for the near-term. But we'll continue to support him ... and provide a good structure for him to be his best."
Just before the NFL combine, Gregory's latest suspension (for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and) was handed down by the league, putting both his future in the league and the Cowboys' pass rush on shaky ground.
DeMarcus Lawrence remains an ongoing issue. If Lawrence were to hold out, the Cowboys would be without a player who exploded for 25 sacks over the past two seasons. The Quinn addition was a wise one, but he alone can't replace Lawrence. If the Cowboys are without both Lawrence (the star) and Gregory (a good rotational option with room to grow) in 2019, their pass rush will likely become a major weakness on an otherwise good, young defense. If all three take the field in 2019, their pass rush will no longer be an area of concern. But that's a big if., but with franchise-tagged defensive end
This past season, the Cowboys' defense finished with 39 sacks. Lawrence and Gregory were responsible for 16.5 of them.