INDIANAPOLIS – The Cowboys will "continue to support" defensive end Randy Gregory through his latest NFL suspension, head coach Jason Garrett told reporters here at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The league announced Tuesday that Gregory is suspended indefinitely for violating the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and the terms of his conditional reinstatement.
Gregory missed the better part of two seasons (2016 and 2017) due to suspension. Conditionally reinstated last August, he played 14 games in 2018 and finished second on defense with 6 sacks.
"Our eyes were wide open on what Randy's situation was when we drafted him. We fully support Randy," Garrett said. "Randy's 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 One. He spent a lot of time getting professional help for those issues. He's worked very hard.
"He's very serious-minded about trying to get back and be an established NFL football player and he did a really good job for us this year after working through a lot of different obstacles. And 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. He's a good young man who's worked very hard to try to address some challenging issues."
Asked if there's a point where the team would consider moving on from Gregory, Garrett said, "I think there's certainly a point with different players. We don't think we're at that point with Randy right now for all the reasons I described. He's a good person who's worked very hard to kind of get this problem under control.
"The way it's been explained to me is sometimes relapse is part of rehab. I think that's something he'll continue to work through. Unfortunately, the NFL has this policy that sometimes suspends players in these situations. But we'll continue to try to support him."
Other notes from Garrett's 30-minute visit with reporters:
- Garrett expressed confidence in Kellen Moore as the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator. He was in a similar position as a first-year coordinator in Dallas back in 2007 and benefited from a "collaborative process" with experienced offensive coaches on staff. "We've got a lot of veteran coaches in that room who he's going to benefit from being around," Garrett said.
- Garrett said he "absolutely" expects Sean Lee to have a role on defense next season. The veteran linebacker missed nine games with hamstring injuries last season but was a positive influence on young linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. "He's a really good football player," Garrett said of Lee. "Watch him play in the Rams (divisional playoff) game, the number of plays that he made. He's got a lot of football left in him and he'll be a part of what we're doing going forward."
- Regarding a pair of impending free agents, Garrett said the team "certainly" wants wide receiver Cole Beasley back but knows there could be competition from other teams when the market opens in mid-March. Garrett said he expects long-time long snapper L.P. Ladouceur to return.
- Garrett said defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has not had yet offseason shoulder surgery, and he echoed Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones' comments that the organization wants Lawrence "to be with the Dallas Cowboys for a long, long time." The club is working to re-sign the Pro Bowl pass rusher to a long-term deal.
- Asked about defensive lineman David Irving, who reportedly could be facing a suspension for violations of league policies, Garrett said, "I don't want to get into any specifics with David Irving. Obviously he's been dealing with some different things over the course of the last year and really was not part of our team last year. He's a free agent, as we know." Irving indeed has an expiring contract. He appeared in only two games last year due to suspension and injury.