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Cowboys have had at least one top defensive player suspended to start season six years in a row

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The Cowboys are keeping an unfortunate tradition alive.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett preaches a “right kind of guy” mantra. When it comes to what he and his staff look for, it’s that. The right kind of guys.

The definition of the RKG philosophy has been debated over the years, after all this is Garrett’s ninth full season as head coach that we’re entering. The types of players that have joined the Cowboys in that time have varied in terms of however people define what is an RKG, but unfortunately one thing that seemingly contradicts the mindset has started become a tradition as well.

On Tuesday we learned that Randy Gregory is being suspended indefinitely by the NFL (David Irving might also be suspended too, but he’s not expected back anyway). That’s not good and it certainly doesn’t perpetuate any “right kind of guy” idea. Gregory is just the latest Cowboys player to face the long arm of the NFL’s suspension law.

In fact, Gregory’s suspension makes it six years in a row that the Cowboys will begin a season with one of their more prominent defensive players suspended. SIX YEARS IN A ROW.

  • 2014: Orlando Scandrick
  • 2015: Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain
  • 2016: DeMarcus Lawrence
  • 2017: David Irving
  • 2018: David Irving
  • 2019: Randy Gregory

Fans of other NFL teams love to take jabs at the Cowboys whenever something happens. Comments like “Dallas will sign him” or “just another day at The Star” tend to surface and while we’re not living by the words of others, that reputation exists for a reason. A pretty strong one.

Randy Gregory’s suspension can certainly be overcome by the Cowboys, and for what it’s worth his lawyer is optimistic that he could return at some point. Unfortunately, this is a routine that we’re well-versed in as Cowboys fans.

A “tradition” like this doesn’t reflect well on anyone in the Cowboys front office, although players like McClain and Irving were flyers that they took chance on, while Lawrence and Gregory were second-round picks. Jason Garrett, Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones, and Will McClay have certainly done a great job of finding talent, but they’ve also found some trouble along the way. Maybe that’s just the price of doing business.

Will they hit lucky number seven in 2020, or will the streak end here?