The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2016 season without three key contributors for a significant part of the year. Rolando McClain is suspended 10 games, Demarcus Lawrence will miss the first four, and Randy Gregory is facing a longer ban on top of his four-game suspension already.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Gregory checked into a treatment facility and will most likely miss at least the start of training camp. This comes on the heel of another reported drug violation, which could lead him to be suspended for 10 to 14 games this season.
His absence on defense is obviously a huge blow as the Cowboys had high hopes for the troubled second-year defensive end. While they’d love to have him on the field this season, it seems unlikely. And the No. 1 goal at this point is getting him help to improve his life and well-being.
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Jerry Jones spoke on the situation Wednesday, calling it “very disappointing.”
“There’s no question he needs the kind of help and care he’s getting right now,” Jones said via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “So that is disappointing, but we’ll see what the days bring with it.”
Jones also discussed the possibility that he’ll be suspended for an extended period of time.
“We have no official notification from league,” he said. “We are first and foremost interested in how he can address his addiction and get to where he can function in society first and look to be a football player second.”
Additionally, Jones indicated that the Cowboys weren't surprised at all by the recent happenings.
The Cowboys knew about Gregory’s issues when they took him in the second round last year. He failed a drug test at the combine, which dropped him from the top of the first round all the way to the second. It was a major red flag, but one the Cowboys thought was behind the stud pass rusher.
Clearly, Gregory hasn’t gotten past his addiction, which is why he’s now getting the treatment he needs. This season will likely be a lost one, as it was in 2015, and it remains unclear when he’ll return to the Cowboys. For right now, he needs to get his life together off the field.
Adding to my point from yesterday, Jerry Jones said he's disappointed, but not surprised re: Randy Gregory. pic.twitter.com/cCCdNBw59c