ARLINGTON, Texas – Perhaps the biggest issue coming out of Sunday night's loss to the Cardinals had nothing to do with the game itself.
In a testament to the power of social media, a tweet about Randy Gregory's tenuous status with the NFL sparked speculation about the Cowboys' talented pass rusher.
It speaks to the uncertainty surrounding Gregory that one, unsubstantiated tweet could create so much conversation. Gregory just returned from a yearlong ban from the NFL after multiple suspensions for violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Even a minor infraction could have serious ramifications for him – which is why Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones faced several questions about Gregory's status after the game.
"Well, let's just put it like this: his deal is day-to-day," Jones said. "Every day is another day there. Randy, he came into this league as an outstanding player – there's no question about his talent. Having said that, we've just got to continue to work."
Jones has been cautiously optimistic about Gregory from the time he returned to the roster, continuously repeating the daily challenge facing him. From a football standpoint, it's easy to see why the Cowboys have been so patient with him.
Gregory has enjoyed a phenomenal training camp, and he carried that into Sunday night's game, as he posted three tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. It's an impressive amount of production for a guy who was missing from the roster for the better part of two years.
Hence, the reasoning for the frantic questioning of Gregory's status. As Jones himself noted, the suspension history will always make Gregory vulnerable. It may well be that there is always some uncertainty surrounding him.
For the time being, though, Jones said he expects Gregory to be available to the Cowboys when their regular season starts on Sept. 9.
"We wouldn't have him out there if we couldn't plan on him," he said. "I think you saw that tonight, and you've seen in his other work – really this entire training camp – that he gives us some real additional pressure."