OXNARD, Calif. – Randy Gregory's pass-rushing gifts were on display Thursday – even if it was merely an agility drill with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff during the morning walkthrough.
Wearing sweats on the sideline, Gregory looked quick and fluid in his conditioning work – unusually so for a 6-foot-5, 242-pound man. That's a primary reason the Cowboys drafted him in the second round back in 2015 despite off-the-field concerns.
Gregory has spent the last 18 months on the suspended list for multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He has been reinstated for practice and upcoming games – but for now, the Cowboys will ease him back toward on-field work.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is glad to have the 25-year-old defensive end back with the organization.
"The guys love him. Everybody here is rooting for Randy," Marinelli said. "He's a great guy, smart. So now we just work him back into a groove, just a little bit at a time.
"I think they're just going to work him here for two or three days, just see how the conditioning goes. He can run, but that explosive movement, he hasn't done that in over a year and a half. We just want to be smart."
Gregory has special skills as an edge rusher, specifically his quick first step and ability to bend as he turns the corner against opposing tackles. But even though he's reinstated, he'll have to continue to prove himself on and off the field.
"I think we're all trying to earn trust each and every day with each other. That's a big part of building the team, right?" head coach Jason Garrett said. "That's stuff that we had long conversations about yesterday on Day One. That's a road map for all of us.
"The level of that, the level of trust that you have for each other is ultimately what separates the championship from the rest. Randy does certainly, but we all do. That's a big part of building this football team."