Whatever Happened To Randy Gregory's NFL Application For Reinstatement To The Cowboys?

Mike Fisher
September 20, 2019 - 7:04 am

FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) - On July 12, we broke the story of Randy Gregory's NFL petition-for-reinstatement plan.

The paperwork was to be submitted three days later, on July 15. Ten days later, we wrote a second story quoting two members of the suspended Dallas Cowboys player's legal team, both of whom spoke with optimism about the process. It is now 64 days after the supposed petitioning. And by rule, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is required to issue a judgment within 60 days of a player's submission.

So...what happened?

In my many stories on and my many conversations with Gregory, the gifted former second-round pick who struggles with issues that include marijuana use, I've stressed that this really needs to be about Gregory the person rather than Gregory the football player.

I'm left to conclude, given the circumstances, that we are back at that place once more.

"I'm working very hard to get to a place where I can be in control,'' Gregory told me not long ago. "It will be a happier place.''

Sixty-four days ago, the idea that that "place'' would in part be back with the Cowboys, the employer with whom he retails an official tie. But the tie, the result of Randy's inarguable work on self-improvement, cannot be complete without reinstatement.

Given that there has been no ruling from Goodell's office -- and, frankly, given that Peter Schaffer, the long-time NFL agent based in Denver, and Daniel Moskowitz, the lawyer based in Dallas who has spent the last two years becoming maybe Randy's closest friend, have gone "radio-silent'' -- we are left with but a handful of options to assume.

1) The paperwork was submitted, but Goodell's office declined the reinstatement request. This is conceivable ... but it's also the sort of news that would normally be available on the NFL transaction wire.

2) The paperwork wasn't submitted. ... because Randy ultimately decided right around July 15-16 that he wasn't really for reinstatement. This is very viable, and here's why: My original report on the petition included this note:

Gregory plans to file with the commissioner's office a request for a "full reinstatement'' on Monday, sources tell me, with the hope that his rehab path includes permission to be part of the team during the preseason and training camp.

The application will include an update on Gregory's process as a result of his in-depth treatment in behavioral and substance-abuse clinics and will feature a continuing "personal responsibility'' plan that will likely have him living with family members in DFW.

It is possible that Gregory's parents will continue to be so supportive of him that they will permanently move from their native Michigan to reside in North Texas to help guide him, one source said, all part of what Gregory's submission to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be termed his "reliability partner'' program.

Along with that story, I also made clear that along with the "permission to be part of the team during the preseason and training camp'' there was not a mention of actually playing for the team in Week 1. I suggested that might be due to Gregory's feeling that it would be beneficial to be with his teammates even if he's not ready to actually play in regular-season games.

Gregory and his circle may have voluntarily opted to pull back. Viable.

3) The paperwork was submitted, and Goodell's office was reviewing all of its positives -- including, I'm told, another series of drug-test results that demonstrated that while Randy experienced a setback in the 2018 season (a season that he actually did spent playing for Dallas) he'd been clean for a series of months -- but a behavioral negative occurred.

A behavioral negative that put the brakes on the whole reinstatement process.

"The way it’s been explained to me,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said last February, "is sometimes, relapse is part of rehab.''

Randy has been suspended four times. So Garrett's words are obviously true. At the same time, his is a highly-advanced view on the part of this franchise, and one that I trust the entire NFL will someday adopt.

But for now? Gregory is not with the Cowboys, and has not been announced as being off of suspension...and therefore, he's still suspended.

Agent Schaffer recently told me, "I’m not going to do a reclamation project unless there’s a certain level of integrity (in the person.) People have to allow a guy like that to make amends.''

Randy Gregory's time for that might be coming. But something is out of place: Either the proper paperwork ... or the proper behavior.