FRISCO, Texas – While he might be disappointed by the difficulties facing his young pass rusher, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he wasn't shocked by the news regarding Randy Gregory.
"We've had an awareness that this potential was there, and we've had it throughout the spring," Jones said Wednesday. "So most of the time you could say that there's no surprises here."
Gregory made NFL headlines for the second time this offseason on Tuesday, when reports surfaced that he had checked himself into drug rehabilitation and that he may be facing a 10-game suspension for further failed drug tests.
This news comes months after Gregory learned he'd be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy last year. Coupled with the failed drug test at the NFL Combine in February of 2015, these developments paint a clear picture of why Gregory plummeted down the draft board to No. 60, where the Cowboys eventually selected him.
Jones said it also highlights the type of treatment he needs in order to right his situation.
"Well, of course he is having care right as we speak – we're well aware of that," he said. "It's very disappointing. But again, it does point out the difficulty you have with addiction. There's no question that he needs the kind of help and care that he's getting right now. That is disappointing, and we'll see what the days bring with him."
Beyond that fact, it remains difficult to project Gregory's status going forward. Jones was sure to point out that he has not been officially notified by the league whether Gregory has in fact been given a 10-game suspension.
"We haven't gotten word from the league that he has anything other than a four-game suspension," he said.
Having said that, it's hard to think the Cowboys could possibly count on Gregory any time soon, given that they report for training camp on Thursday, with their first practice of the summer slated for Saturday.
Jones added to that fact that he doesn't expect that Gregory will be at training camp at this point in time.
While the rest of his roster turns its attention toward that milestone, Jones said it's important for Gregory to focus on his recovery off the field before anyone worries about his contributions on it.
"We are, first and foremost, interested in how he can basically address his addiction and get to where he can function in society first," Jones said. "And then we'll look at him as a football player second."
In the meantime, there will be plenty of criticism of the circumstances that landed Gregory in Dallas in the first place. A bevy of unflattering reports, combined with the failed drug test from the Combine, pushed the Nebraska standout down the draft board for two-straight days.
Originally considered a top-10 talent, Gregory fell all the way to the back end of the second round before the Cowboys decided to gamble on him.
However bad the decision might look at the current moment, Jones said he had not regrets about the decision.
"We drafted him right where we should have, and he fell from the very top of the board to the second round," he said. "You can take risks there, where we got him. We do that – we do it with injury, we do it with other issues."
Asked a similar question, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he didn't think the setbacks with Gregory would prompt the team to change its draft day policies regarding risky picks.
"That's our business. There's risk-reward in our business," he said. "We've had successes, and when you do something like that you have a chance to obviously hit some bumps and ultimately not be successful."