Any hopes the Dallas Cowboys had of getting suspended defensive end Randy Gregory not only back sooner, but for any games this season have been dashed after Gregory withdrew his appeal of an additional 10-game suspension Monday.
Gregory was already suspended the first four games of this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, stemming from a failed test in February.
An additional failed test in June put him in the crosshairs of a 10-game suspension, which he appealed through his agent Deryk Gilmore. He has now withdrawn the appeal.
By withdrawing his appeal, Gregory will miss no less than 14 games.
Gregory returned to the Cowboys last week after missing all of training camp and the first week of the season while in rehab.
The Cowboys have since removed him from the reserve/did not report list. He is allowed to attend meetings and work out at the facility while under suspension.
But there was hope in the organization the 2015 second-round pick from Nebraska would win his appeal and possibly return to the team sooner than later.
Coach Jason Garrett said last week the Cowboys would have a role for Gregory when he was cleared to play.
He is considered the team’s most talented pass rusher even though he had no sacks as a rookie last year, largely because of a high ankle sprain.
Now, Gregory is simply focused on getting his life together off the field so he can return to football next year if not for the final two games of the season.
Gregory has failed a total of five drug tests since the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, which initially landed him in the league’s substance abuse program.
Ezekiel Elliott had a forgettable Sunday.
He fumbled the ball twice, losing one, and found himself on the bench for the final 6:56 of the Cowboys’ 27-23 victory over the Washington Redskins.
Elliott couldn’t remember a time fumbling the ball twice, and made no excuses for it afterward.
A day later, though, Elliott was all smiles interacting with fourth graders at Pearcy Elementary. He showed the kids how to run a center/quarterback exchange, as well as taking a handoff.
Elliott, 21, understands the importance of giving back to the community and how that helps put the game in perspective.
“Oh, you know it does big time,” Elliott said. “Just coming out here and having fun and giving back. There’s a bigger purpose than just going out there and playing ball. You can touch everyone around you.
“It’s very cool to see the kids and how excited they are. This is probably going to be the highlight of their year, so just coming out and having a good time is really important.”
Elliott hopes his highlight of the year hasn’t come yet.
Elliott, the fourth overall pick out of Ohio State, hasn’t gotten off to the greatest start in his young NFL career.
In the season opener against the New York Giants, Elliott rushed for 51 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown.
Elliott finished with 83 rushing yards on 21 carries with a score against the Redskins, but the fumbles overshadowed his performance. Ball security had never been an issue with Elliott in his standout college career.He had 650 offensive touches and fumbled just four times.
But he managed to get his mind off football briefly Monday, spending time with his fellow rookies at a local school and encouraging kids to stay active and eat right.
“It’s always important to get out in the community and have a fun time with the kids,” Elliott said. “The kids look up to us and we’re role models to them. It’s always fun to kind of relay the messages that it’s important to exercise and for them to stay active and spread the love of football.”
Drew Davison contributed to this report