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Mailbag: What's Gone Wrong With Gregory? Veteran Pass Rush Help?

DAN JONASSOUTH ELGIN, IL
The fans kept hearing that the Dallas Cowboys had the proper support system for Randy Gregory to succeed. So what's gone wrong?

Bryan: The one thing I have learned working in this organization as a scout and now on the media side is that if something goes badly it is on all of us. It is true that Jerry Jones makes the final call on players but it's not without gathering the opinions of everyone in the room – scouts, coaches, team doctors and support staff. They knew the potential risk of drafting Randy Gregory and as a staff they were willing to take that risk. You also need to pass blame on the player as well. It was Gregory on the night of the draft that told Jason Garrett that he wouldn't have to worry about him after he was selected. The front office tried to help Gregory in various ways but there comes a point in time where the player has to take responsibility for their own actions and he just wasn't able to do that.

David:That's a fantastic question, and I don't think I have a tidy answer for you. At some point, I think accountability ultimately sits with the adult professional tasked with keeping things together. But at the same time, I often wondered last year whether the Cowboys were disrupting the harmony of the locker room with some of the decisions they were making with their personnel. In addition to losing 12 games, it definitely feels like the 2015 season set the locker room culture back a bit. It'll be interesting to see if they can rediscover the chemistry from the 2014 playoff run.

MIKE GUIREBOLDENTOWN, N.J.
Why are the Cowboys not trying to lock up a veteran defensive end, like Dwight Freeney, just to add some stability to that position? I understand wanting to give younger guys the opportunity to develop, but should it be at the cost of winning in 2016? And wouldn't that veteran leadership actually help in developing these young men into NFL professionals?

Bryan: Dwight Freeney is a veteran player that doesn't want to go to training camp and grind for the next five weeks. He is also not going to come for cheap especially if he knows the situation here. I get everyone losing their minds about the situation they are in now but they will have options when it is all said and done. If these kids don't work out after the first two preseason games, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Will McClay are not going to sit on their hands and watch this go south. They hold the fourth claiming spot on the waiver wire plus a couple of pieces that they could trade. They could also use their draft picks for 2017 to grab a player. Let's just evaluate what they have on the current roster and in due time it will either work or they make a move.

David: I wouldn't be opposed to the Cowboys taking a chance on a veteran player – and I won't be surprised if they do so before the start of the regular season. That said, I think it's awfully dramatic to say that will be the difference between winning and losing. This pass rush has a steep challenge in front of it, and a player who's available right now isn't going to change that.

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