FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys got some unexpected pass rush relief Sunday night from David Irving. But they'd certainly welcome even more help as well.
They just might get some from Randy Gregory, who has served his combined 14-game suspension and is eligible to play this weekend against the Lions.
That means Gregory can practice with the team this week as the Cowboys prepare for the Lions on Monday Night at AT&T Stadium. The team will get an extra practice day, which definitely won't hurt Gregory, who hasn't played since last season. He missed all of training camp while being checked into rehab.
"He hasn't played football in a while," head coach Jason Garrett said. "Getting out there on practice field and playing football independent of the work he's been doing with our strength coaches to get himself physically ready to play. He's got to get himself football ready. We'll try to take advantage of every opportunity we have over the course of the week. We have to be honest and objective in our evaluation of where he is and realistic about where he's been. Again, we'll take it day by day."
Gregory received both a four-game and then a 10-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. And while there have been reports of a third failed test that could ultimately lead to a one-year suspension from the NFL, owner Jerry Jones did not address that scenario when asked on Monday.
"I can't comment on that. I really don't want to indicate one way or the other because you can't," Jones said of the speculation of another misstep from Gregory. "You're not supposed to. But I do know that we're planning on having him practice this week and playing this weekend."
A second-round pick in 2015, Gregory played in 12 games for the Cowboys last year, but did not record a sack. He did rank fourth on the team with 16 quarterback pressures.
The Cowboys could use all the help they can get at defensive end, considering DeMarcus Lawrence missed Sunday's game with a nagging back injury.
Irving stepped up in a major way Sunday, recording two sacks, five quarterback hits and close to 10 hurries – mostly occurring in the fourth quarter of the 26-20 win over Tampa Bay.