FRISCO, Texas – The first three weeks of July usually don't provide much news for any football team.
But the Cowboys received some good news earlier this week when the NFL officially reinstated Randy Gregory to the team after a one-year suspension.
No one in the organization might be as excited about that news than defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who now has yet another pass-rusher in the stable to work with when the team goes to training camp next week.
"I'm extremely excited to have him back," Marinelli said this week at The Star. "Just really looking forward to having a chance to work with him again."
Repeated violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy has obviously been a constant setback for Gregory, who only played in two games in the past two seasons, and just 14 for his career after playing in 12 games as a rookie in 2015.
Still, the flashes Gregory showed in that first preseason, where he recorded three sacks in the first three games, is enough to get Marinelli excited. He also thinks the defensive end might not have as much rust to knock off as you might expect.
"Oh yeah, he's got the stuff that you need," Marinelli said. "I just want to give him time now to get back in the saddle and learn the basics again and bring him along that way. But he's so talented. Some of things will return quicker than most for him."
The NFL has reinstated Gregory on a conditional basis. Those conditions currently will allow Gregory to attend training camp with the team in Oxnard, Calif. next week and attend meetings and individual workouts. For now, Gregory is not allowed to fully practice or participate in games, but that could change while in Oxnard, assuming he can meet the necessary conditions given by the NFL.
Overall, Marinelli applauded Gregory for not giving up and continuing to fight his way back to this point.
"No question about it. I admire the fight," Marinelli said. "I really admire the fight. I'm excited about getting him back here. I know the other guys feel the same way. He's really well-liked on our football team."