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Cowboys news: Trying to sort out all the Randy Gregory implications

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Plus lots more from the Combine.

NFL: Combine
The head coach had a thing or two to say.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett On Lee’s Future, Gregory, Moore & More - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
Most of the Cowboys' fan base has moved on from Randy Gregory in light of his latest suspension. But in his press conference at the NFL Combine, Jason Garrett was notably supportive.

Asked if there’s a point where the team would consider moving on from Gregory, Garrett said, “I think there’s certainly a point with different players. We don’t think we’re at that point with Randy right now for all the reasons I described. He’s a good person who’s worked very hard to kind of get this problem under control.

“The way it’s been explained to me is sometimes relapse is part of rehab. I think that’s something he’ll continue to work through. Unfortunately, the NFL has this policy that sometimes suspends players in these situations. But we’ll continue to try to support him.”

Report: Randy Gregory has chance to be reinstated in 2019 - Patrik "No C" Walker, 247 Sports
The Gregory situation is indeed a bit confusing, with his attorney Daniel Moskowitz saying there is no “panic mode”. This is a nice attempt to add some clarity.

What Moskowitz is working to convey mirrors what is being reported from Clarence Hill, Jr. of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who cites a source within the Cowboys' organization that says it's possible Gregory "can come back for 2019" — if he adheres to the same stringent restrictions and regimen he did in 2018 prior to his initial reinstatement. Granted this remains in the hands of the NFL for the foreseeable future, but it gives the Cowboys something to hang their hat on for now. With the suspension landing in February and the season not kicking off for another seven months, there's plenty of time for Gregory to regain stride in his battle with mental illness and potentially be reinstated prior to September.

“Certainly [Gregory] has his challenges, and continues to have them,” EVP Stephen Jones said from the NFL Combine. “I don’t think those things go away. We’re going to keep working and cheering for him. I think he’s just got to take the next step both on and off the field.”

Garrett: No Pressure, Despite No New Contract - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Garrett is in the final year of his contract, which is assumed to be a win-or-be-fired scenario for him. But he gave no indications of approaching things any differently because of it.

“Again, I don’t think much about that. I think that sense of urgency and that backs to the wall mentality is something that we’ve always tried to instill in our team,” he said. “I certainly felt that as a player, the best teams I was on as a player, everyone felt that.”

Suffice to say, it was business as usual in Garrett’s first public comments since the end of last season. Perhaps it wasn’t a conscious decision, but even Garrett’s wardrobe seemed to suggest a football-focused mindset, as he wore a navy Cowboys sweat suit – the same kind he wore daily throughout the 2018 season.

ESPN on Cowboys' David Irving 'drug evaluation'? Fake news - Mike Fisher, 247 Sports
There were a lot of groans when news of David Irving failing drug tests broke, hot on the heels of Randy Gregory's latest suspension. But in reality, it matters not at all to the Cowboys, because that ship had already disappeared far beyond the horizon.

I figured we'd made this perfectly clear on Jan. 11 when we broke the story in reporting that Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving has missed "multiple'' mandatory drug tests in the last two months of the regular season. But maybe I phrased it too politely by adding, "putting in jeopardy not only any chance he has of participating with this team during the NFL Playoffs but also his chance of playing in the league anytime soon.''

So on Feb. 19, in the wake of a Monday chock-full of news outlets "re-breaking the story'' of Dallas being done with David, I "wrote it louder'': DAVID IRVING HAS A SUBSTANCE-ABUSE ISSUE AND THAT, COMBINED WITH AN ABSENCE OF LOVE FOR HIS JOB, CAUSED HIM TO FAIL TO SHOW UP FOR WORK FOR THE BETTER PART OF MONTHS, THUS RENDERING HIM UNEMPLOYABLE.

Dallas Cowboys: Forget Taco, we should be excited for Dorance Armstrong - Reid Hanson, Fansided
With Gregory's future in doubt, the Cowboys are looking for some other possible answers at defensive end. Here is a view that Dorance Armstrong may be one.

Playing behind DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, and Taco Charlton has a way of limiting one’s snaps, ya know? But as the season progressed, so did opportunities for Armstrong. With 273 snaps on the season, Armstrong didn’t make a huge impression, but he appeared to pass Taco Charlton in more ways than one.

With the Dallas Cowboys heading into the 2019 season thin at under tackle, it’s likely Tyrone Crawford will see more time inside and less time at end. That, combined with Taco’s incompetence, should provide a major opportunity for Armstrong to take that next step.

Cowboys' to-do list: Deals for Lawrence, Prescott, Cooper, others - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
While the NFL Combine is intended as a way to evaluate draft prospects, it also serves as a place where teams can do some serious contract work. That is because all the agents also congregate there. With a need to come up with new deals for DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and others, EVP Stephen Jones has a lot on his plate in Indianapolis.

"You can have simultaneous [negotiations]," Jones said. "I mean, we've got our hands around our [salary] cap. You can imagine we've done all the machinations and projections and low side, high side, what these guys might cost us. So we obviously feel like we can digest these type of guys and the numbers of these contracts."

The contracts will be big. Lawrence is looking at a payday in the neighborhood of $20 million per year. Prescott is looking at something north of that as the starting quarterback. Cooper will be among the highest-paid wide receivers. Elliott will be among the highest paid running backs.

Richard Sherman Recruiting Earl Thomas, But Cowboys A Threat | Mike Fisher and Josh Clark, 105.3 The Fan
Cowboys fans have one huge free agent crush, safety Earl Thomas. The latest comments from someone who played with him just fans those flames.

Those reports continued today as a former teammate of Thomas, Richard Sherman, says he's recruiting the all-pro to join him in San Francisco, but he acknowledges the Cowboys are in the driver seat.

"Just bumped into Richard Sherman who continues to recruit former teammate and soon-to-be FA Earl Thomas. Said the Cowboys will be very much in the mix and if offers are even Thomas will go to Dallas," Matt Barrows of the Athletic reported Wednesday morning.

Dallas Cowboys: Film room: 15 names Cowboys fans need to track at the NFL combine, from speedy slot receivers to intriguing TEs | John Owning, SportsDay
This is an intriguing look at some players who would likely be available to Dallas in the draft and who could help the Cowboys. The one I picked to highlight has nothing at all to do with the Aggie ring on my right hand. Honest. Trust me.

Texas A&M's Jace Sternberger would be a great fit for the Cowboys and is one of the favorites to be a top performer among tight ends at the combine. He is blessed with great size and athleticism for the position and should show well throughout the on-field workouts. As long as his medicals come back clean, expect to see Sternberger's stock rise after his performance in Indianapolis.

Gil Brandt picks Jerry Jones to be his Hall of Fame presenter - Andy Fenelon, NFL.com
Given that Jerry Jones was the man who ended Gil Brandt's career with the Cowboys, he seems an odd choice to present Brandt for his Hall of Fame induction. But Brandt demonstrated just what a class act he is in explaining the decision.

"When your career has been touched by so many great players, coaches and associates for several decades, I found it very difficult to select just one person from that list to be a Hall of Fame presenter," said Brandt, who served as the Cowboys' VP of player personnel from 1960 to 1989. "I have been blessed to work closely with so many wonderful players for so many years, and as a result, this decision was not easy. After a great amount of thought and consideration, I have asked Jerry Jones to be the presenter for my induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

"Jerry is a friend, a confidant and someone who is a leader in the National Football League. He is also a man who took the foundation and philosophies of what we built with the Dallas Cowboys and expanded the organization's original vision and visibility to higher levels that no one could have ever imagined."

Eli Manning will be Giants’ starting quarterback in 2019 - Ed Valentine, Big Blue View
As a dedicated Cowboys fan, I fully endorse the decision to keep Eli Manning as the starter for the New York Giants.

Now we know the Giants have decided the best way forward is to roll with Manning, who will be entering his 16th season. In his press conference, (head coach Pat) Shurmur offered several votes of confidence in Manning, saying that he still “does all the things necessary to be a quarterback.”

And in a familiar refrain from a year ago, Shurmur added that he still believes “the years thing is true.” That, of course, refers to a statement he made a year ago that the Giants’ quarterback still has “years left” as a starter in the NFL.