Skip to main content

Randy Gregory Returns Sunday After Long Layoff


At this point, the Cowboys defense needs any kind of boost it can get.

From what they've seen in practice, coupled with the flashes he's shown at times over the last five years, that's exactly what Randy Gregory could provide.

Of course, we'll find out Sunday just what kind of impact Gregory will make when he suits up for the first time since the end of the 2018 season.

Gregory is expected to provide some depth at defensive end, playing alongside the likes of Aldon Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence and Everson Griffen.

While all situations are different, the simple fact that Smith has been able to return after a five-year layoff and lead the Cowboys with four sacks, at least suggest it's possible Gregory can make a similar impact.

So far in practice, Gregory apparently looks the part. Teammates such as Ezekiel Elliott called him "lights out" while Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said "nothing has changed" and referred to his natural athletic ability.

This week, head coach Mike McCarthy said Gregory has earned the right to be active this week, suggesting he will finally return to action to face Washington Sunday at FedEx Field.

"Obviously, what jumps off the video before arriving here is just his athletic ability, his ability to bend, his twitch," McCarthy said. "He can do a lot from that position. He's not only tough as a rusher, he's a playmaker. He can play in space. There is not anything he can't do from a coverage responsibility. A very versatile athlete.

Gregory was activated to the roster this week after being serving not only a one-year suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy. He was conditionally reinstated, but wasn't eligible to play for the first six games.

While Gregory is one of the biggest storylines of the week, he was not made available by the Cowboys his week to speak to the media in a virtual conference call.

But he's had plenty of people talking about him, including defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

"I remember when he came out as many people do, and he's a very athletic individual that's a good football player." Nolan said. "And, so, we'll see, again, I'm not sure what the timetable is, but we'll certainly be able to use him when he does become available to us."

The time is now for Gregory, who has never been a consistent force on the field for the Cowboys, who drafted him 60th overall in 2015. He played 12 games as a rookie but missed some time due to a foot injury.

He only played in two games in 2016 after serving a lengthy suspension for a substance abuse violation and then all of 2017 as well.

While he returned in 2018 to play 14 games, Gregory also had six sacks and figured to have his career turned around, only to be suspended once again in 2019.

But here he is once again, looking to provide yet another spark to a defense that certainly needs it in the worst way.

Related Content