OXNARD, Calif. – After roughly an 18-month suspension by the NFL, Randy Gregory is set to participate in training camp with the Cowboys.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones is proud of how Gregory, the team's second-round pick in 2015, has "persisted" in his efforts to get reinstated by the NFL after multiple violations of its substance abuse policy.
"It wasn't even a given early that he'd be out here right off the bat participating in the drills and going through this test," Jones said at the team's opening training camp press conference. "However, he accomplished everything he needed to do to satisfy the league that he could be right out here from Day One and giving himself every chance to be part of this team.
"Make no mistake about it, he's a player we want. He's a person we want."
Last week, the NFL reinstated Gregory on a conditional basis, allowing the 25-year-old defensive end to attend camp and participate in meetings, conditioning work and similar activities.
Now it remains to be seen how quickly Gregory can get back into practice after his extended absence. The Cowboys have placed him on the Active/Non-Football Injury list, and head coach Jason Garrett says the team will be deliberate in working Gregory back to on-field work.
Gregory still counts toward the 90-man camp roster and can be activated at any point in preseason.
"We're going to work him back in. He hasn't been part of our team in over a year," Garrett said. "He hasn't been around NFL players in a long time. He looks in good shape. His weight's good (242 pounds), spirits are really good. We're excited to have him here.
"But he's going to work with our strength coaches and with our trainers to make sure we get a good base and a good foundation underneath him before he starts practicing."
Defensive lineman David Irving has been placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list – he has been excused indefinitely to handle personal business – which creates a roster spot for Gregory.