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Mailbag: Supporting Gregory; Next Step For LVE?

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Maybe there's some details I'm missing, but can you explain why the Cowboys are deciding to continue to stick with Randy Gregory? Standing behind him as a person I can totally understand. But as a player, has he proven he can be counted on to stay out of trouble off the field? Help us fans understand the thinking in the front office.

- FRED ROBERTS / SALEM, OR

Rob: Jason Garrett gave a very insightful quote Wednesday: "The way it's been explained to me is sometimes relapse is part of rehab." The Cowboys have long felt this is a medical issue Gregory is dealing with, not simply a recreational habit that has gotten him suspended multiple times. In their mind he has worked very hard to get professional help and improve his life. They're going to stand behind him.

Bryan: I was once in your shoes when it came to Randy Gregory. I went on record saying they should have gotten rid of him after the initial suspension but that was totally misguided on my part. It was an ignorant on my part and I feel ashamed that I even went there. Randy Gregory is not a bad person, but the expectations that the league has put on him are unrealistic and need to be reevaluated. He had a setback, but to punish him for it is not the right thing to do at this point. The league should be about helping their players, not kicking them to the curb when a problem arises. I am happy that the Cowboys are fighting for not only the player but the person.

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With how early in their careers it is for Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch it was amazing to see the high level of play from the two last season. How much of a jump in play do you see from them next season and where does that take this defense?

- LANDON CABELL

Rob: Both players were quite consistent overall given their level of experience. As Sean Lee has shown as he's moved through his career, I think you'll see both guys progress from a recognition standpoint, diagnosing plays and being in the right place. One false step can mean a lot in this league from the linebacker position. They both have outstanding futures.

Bryan: That loss to the Rams in the playoffs was rough on them, but they will learn and grow from it. These two pair very well together and feed off each other's play. I believe that Smith and Vander Esch will only get better. The front office will add some pieces and Kris Richard will continue to put them in situations to be successful. Future is bright.

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