FRISCO, Texas – Arguably the two most intriguing Cowboys players are the two we know the least about.
It's clear heading into draft week that the Cowboys' front office has a lot of optimism about the duo of Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith. The former was a first-round talent who has shown exciting potential, the latter is a former All-Pro who was among the best pass rushers in the NFL at times during his career.
The problem, obviously, is that those talents have only been seen sparingly due to a litany of off-field issues. Gregory has been suspended four times in the five seasons since the Cowboys drafted him, and he hasn't appeared on the field since the 2018 postseason. Smith, who just signed a one-year deal three weeks ago, has also dealt with numerous suspensions and has not played an NFL game since 2015.
While optimism abounds about both players' futures, they have not been reinstated by the NFL as of yet – a topic that Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones was asked about Friday in an interview with 105.3 FM The Fan.
"What we continue to do is, you certainly want to give them every opportunity to have success with their battles off the field and that they're ultimately getting to a good spot where they're ready to take the next step and play football again," he said.
The NFL league office is notably unpredictable when it comes to evaluating suspensions, appeals and reinstatements – as the Cowboys have learned repeatedly over the past few years. Despite that, Jones expressed confidence in the league's process in determining the situation.
"We understand that it's not the Cowboys' timing, it's when the NFL office and their resources that they have," he said. "After they've finished evaluating these gentlemen and the work that they've put in to get better off the field, they'll certainly let them know as well as us know if and when they're going to be reinstated."