FRISCO, Texas –Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are aware that suspended defensive end Randy Gregory is preparing to apply for reinstatement to the NFL and hope he'll be permitted to return to the league and team in 2018.
Jones said Gregory has a "pretty circuitous route" to reinstatement, meaning there are plenty of steps for the 25-year-old to take in order to return to football.
"I'm not confident, but I do see where his heart is," Jones said Thursday at the grand opening of the entertainment district at The Star in Frisco.
In January 2017, the NFL suspended Gregory at least one year for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Gregory had just returned from a 14-game suspension to start the 2016 season.
The Cowboys continue not to have contact with Gregory, per the terms of his league suspension. Jones declined to elaborate on his understanding of the reinstatement process but said he believes this is a medical issue that "has a lot of discretionary things to determine."
Throughout this process, the Cowboys have not chosen to part ways with their 2015 second-round pick.
"He's really a good person, one. That goes a long way," Jones said. "He's smart – that's redeeming. In other words, is there a chance that he could get this figured out and be accountable and responsible? There is. There's one other little thing: He's a hell of a football player."
Since joining the Cowboys in 2015, Gregory has appeared in 12 career games and recorded 20 tackles and a sack.
"He's got a lot to play for," Jones said. "He's got a new baby. He's got a lot going for him. He's very astute about knowing that. He's just got to hopefully do what every one us had to do, and that's do better when you're 24 and 25 than you did when you were 20."