IRVING, Texas – Jason Garrett said rookie defensive end Randy Gregory is expected to practice Wednesday, his first in full pads since suffering a high ankle sprain in the season opener against the Giants and another step toward his return to game action.
Gregory, who participated in a pair of short, light practices during the bye week, is eager to play after watching for a month.
The layoff has been tougher, he said, than the year he missed in junior college with a broken leg.
"It's a little bit different being at this level having a good game, a decent game to start off a year with, and then being out four games in the NFL, it's tough," he said. "But I've done all the right things as far as getting back on the field rehabbing. I'm just ready to get back out there and play now."
A healthy Gregory this Sunday against the Giants would give the Cowboys their full complement of pass rushers for the first time all season. Defensive end Greg Hardy returned from suspension with a pair of sacks and five quarterback pressures against the Patriots on Oct. 11.
"It makes a tremendous difference," defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "You're not leaning on one guy. You've got a lot of talent across the board and guys are able to get some one-on-one (matchups)."
Gregory said physically he's feeling good after his rehab work with the athletic training and strength and conditioning staff over the past several weeks. Now he's using his practice time to gain confidence running and planting again.
"That's what I've had this last week and this week – tomorrow, practicing in full pads, things like that – hopefully my confidence will get a little boost there," he said.