Dallas Cowboys: The Late Rise of Randy Gregory

When his career seemed to have reached its conclusion, Randy Gregory decided to rise up and show the world that it wasn’t. 

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Gregory in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The defensive end was heavily regarded as a top-five pick and being ranked the top edge rusher, he failed a drug test during the NFL Combine. Prior to the combine, he had previously failed two drug tests while in college. Regardless, the Cowboys knew what they were up against and selected him.

As a rookie, Gregory’s development was affected due to an ankle injury, which caused him to miss at least four games. Upon returning he failed to live up to expectations. On February 19th, 2016, after failing another drug test, he received a four-game suspension. He was given an additional ten-game suspension that September for failing yet another drug test. In January 2017, it was announced that Gregory was suspended for the entire 2017 season after missing a scheduled drug test.

Last summer, Gregory was reinstated and the rest is history. In Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, Gregory stepped on a professional football field for the first time in over 600 days. However, he would go on to suffer a concussion and miss Dallas’ next game against the New York Giants.

Upon his return, Gregory would soon begin showing signs of improvement and would continually improve. He has registered has six tackles for a loss, over a dozen quarterback hits, six total sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. With Dallas in the playoffs this season, he has the opportunity to play in his first playoff game of his career.

In an interview earlier this month, Gregory admitted that during his year-long suspension, he continued smoking pot. Gregory explained he was in a ‘real bad place’ and acknowledged that he had been dealing with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, as well as problems with his self-esteem. He mentioned how one day after partying all night, 15 men showed up to his doorstep, took him, and sent him to California where he would spend over six months in a rehab center. This turned out to be the doing of his lawyer, Daniel Moskowitz.

During training camp last summer, Gregory explained that he smoked to counterattack his depression and anxiety. Gregory credits his lawyer, as well as actor Sir Anthony Hopkins for helping guide him through his rehab.

Gregory has been a long road. He has failed at least seven drug tests and one failed rehab stint, making it clear his life and professional career were on the verge of truly hitting rock bottom. 

Now, Gregory is fighting his way to redemption. He may be three years late, but in his case, he can show the world that it’s better late than never.

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