Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he was skeptical of a TMZ report on Saturday that claimed that suspended defensive end Randy Gregory failed another drug test.
“We have not been informed that he has, and I don’t know what another [failed test] means,” Jones said. “I’m not trying to be [cute] in any way. I would be very dubious of any information. I find that ambiguous. … If Randy said he did, I’d take this back, but I would be skeptical of the information.”
According to the TMZ report, multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed that Gregory was tested on Feb. 21 and then informed on March 2 that his specimen came up positive for marijuana. He has since blown off NFL officials who have tried to discuss the situation with him and people connected to Gregory told TMZ it appears his NFL career might be over.
Gregory has struggled to kick a marijuana habit since he played at Nebraska, even failing a drug test at the NFL scouting combine before the Cowboys drafted him 60th overall in 2015.
He has already been suspended for the 2017 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse program.
He was suspended the first four games of the 2016 season for multiple failures in 2015, his rookie season. He was suspended another 10 games for missing a test in the offseason. He played in the final two regular-season games and recorded a sack before he was banished for the 2017 season.
For his previous suspensions, Gregory was allowed to take part in meetings and work out, but he wasn’t allowed to practice. That will not be the case with his current suspension, which will include the offseason program, minicamp, training camp and preseason games.
Jones said the Cowboys would continue to support Gregory, who slipped to the 60th overall pick in 2015 because of off-the-field troubles. Because he will not accrue a season toward free agency, the Cowboys will hold his rights through 2019.
“At this time right now, I think he’s a great asset for the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said. “Now we need him on the football field, but in the time that last year we watched him come back and play, candidly, I don’t know we saw that kind of talent in this draft.”
Jones remains optimistic that the league will lower its standards for marijuana testing. That, however, would need league and NFL Players Association approval.
Gregory is in Stage 3 – the final step – of the league’s substance abuse program. He must stay clean during his one-year suspension to be eligible for reinstatement. When – or if – Gregory returns to the Cowboys will be up to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“He’s getting support,” Jones said. “He’s not void in any way. He’s got in my mind [more] support than he had last year. He has better support, counseling support than he had last year, right now. I’m very comfortable with his support.”