Who doesn’t love a good success story? 2021 could provide Cowboys fans just that. Cowboys fans are well aware of the ups and downs that has been Randy Gregory. As the 28-year-old veteran enters his seventh season as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, this will be only his second full offseason as a member of the team since way back in his rookie year. Since 2015, he has only tallied 38 games of action and unfortunately it has not been due to the lack of ability, but rather availability.
Personal transgressions and off-the-field issues have resulted in Gregory being suspended for more games than he has been eligible to play through out his career. However, as minicamp kicked off Tuesday, it was hard not to be drawn in by the smile, charisma, and energy that was shown from a matured, thankful, and most importantly, happy, Randy Gregory.
In 2020, Gregory showed flashes of the talent the Cowboys took a chance on in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft. Gregory tallied 21 combined tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, 12 quarterback hurries, and four tackles for loss in just 10 games while receiving limited snaps under former defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Gregory spoke about his displeasure with his playing time in 2020 and believes that there is an understanding for his role moving forward under Dan Quinn.
#Cowboys DE Randy Gregory says last year wasn’t happy with playing time. “Were their conversations? Sure.” Gregory says it’s in the past and confident in this staff.
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) June 8, 2021
Gregory was able sit down and talk with media members after Tuesday’s practice and it offered a glimpse into the mind of a man who is grateful for his growth, and excited for what is yet to come.
This quote from Randy is already making the rounds, but it’s awesome and I want to post it anyway.
Randy Gregory was asked why he seems so much more confident.
As someone who has a way easier time seeing the bad than the good, I appreciate the perspective. pic.twitter.com/A8kcul2JQF
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) June 8, 2021
A young man who has been through a lot in his life, who would admit that many of the problems were from his own doing, and being able to reflect from the other side of his transgressions is a beautiful thing. The self-awareness he showed throughout his media session Tuesday is one of a man who understands his vision, is sure of himself, and the belief he has in his ability to a better man and football player moving forward. You see every year that there are young athletes whose lives change overnight, and don’t quite know how to handle situations that are thrust upon them. Whether it be opportunity, or experiences that come with being an NFL player, it’s important to remember the human element when you see your favorite players suit up on Sundays.
For opposing offenses who have yet to see an uber-talented Randy Gregory put it all together on the field, this very well could be a scary sight for them. Gregory, in the last week, has received high praise from both head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, making it clear they believe he could be a key cog to this defense’s performance in 2021.
“He’s got such flexibility to bend. When I had a chance to get here he was one of the first people I wanted to get into contact with and we hit it off immediately because we had a relationship when I went to Nebraska to see him.”
– Dan Quinn on Gregory https://t.co/JAunSwNHQJ
— Brianna Dix (@DixBrianna) June 5, 2021
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy on his evaluation of DE Randy Gregory in 2020: “I gave him two arrows pointing up. …Clearly, his path last year, he just continued to rise with every opportunity he had.” Believes Gregory can be a “premier, primary player” for team’s defense.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 3, 2021
Dallas will be leaning on Gregory to win with his pass-rush ability, as well as with his effort in their run defense as they look to solidify a running mate opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence. Gregory has shown the ability to be productive when given the chance and healthy, and as he has grown off the field, one could believe that in a contract year his play could continue to blossom as well. As the team ramps up his playing time and increases his role as a whole, Gregory looks to not only produce on the field, but would also like to help be a leader in the locker room.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory said he wants to establish himself as a fixture for franchise in 2021. Not someone who comes and goes. Instead, “someone that is here to stay, somewhat that wants to be a leader, not only vocally but on the field with my play.”
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 8, 2021
All arrows are pointing up for Gregory in 2021. He is a man who has found peace in his life, has found and understands what is important to him and his family, and knows where he wants to be and what he needs to do to continue down the right path. For the first time in his career it feels like he has positioned himself to really make a real impact for the Cowboys from game one. Couple that with a staff and team that will be relying on him to be a focal point on a defense that desperately could use as much help as they can get, it’s hard not to root for Randy Gregory the football player and the man.