FRISCO, Texas – There's a reason they say it's not a done deal until someone signs it.
In one of the more eventful turns in recent Cowboys free agency memory, Randy Gregory is off to Denver, shortly after reportedly agreeing to an extension with the Cowboys.
The deal was close enough to being finalized that Gregory's agent Peter Schaffer was quoted as mentioning the role that Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones played in bringing the star pass rusher back to Dallas.
"No doubt what Jerry has done for him the last seven years played a huge part," Schaffer told The Dallas Morning News.
As the Cowboys came to find out, however, anything is possible before a contract is signed. Within an hour of the initial five-year, $70 million agreement being struck, word surfaced that Gregory had reached the same agreement with the Broncos.
It's quite a change of course for the Cowboys, who drafted Gregory No. 60 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory's rare blend of size and athleticism led many to see him as a Top 10 prospect in that draft class, but off-field concerns eventually pushed him to Dallas in the back half of the second round.
Both scouting reports turned out to be accurate. Gregory is currently sitting on 16.5 careers sacks despite starting just 13 games for the Cowboys, though he has spent time on and off the roster due to multiple suspensions over the course of his career.
At times, it looked dubious whether Gregory would ever make it to this foray into free agency. He was suspended from the league indefinitely in 2019. In an inspiring turn of events, however, he managed to correct course and was reinstated to the NFL in the spring of 2020, making his season debut in Week 7 of that year.
From there, Gregory went on to be one of the team's biggest success story for 2021. Having a full NFL offseason for the first time in his career, he anchored the right side of the Cowboys' line, making a career-best 11 starts and finishing with 19 tackles, four tackles for loss and six sacks.
Instead of re-signing in Dallas, Gregory will become the second No. 94 to leave the Cowboys for Denver in recent memory, along with DeMarcus Ware in 2014.