Randy Gregory changes course and opts for Denver

FRISCO, Texas – There’s a reason they say it’s not a done deal until someone signs it on paper.

In one of the most eventful twists in recent memory of Cowboys free agency, Randy Gregory is leaving for Denver, shortly after reportedly agreeing to an extension with the Cowboys.

The deal was close enough to completion that Gregory’s agent, Peter Schaffer, was quoted as mentioning the role Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones played in bringing the star defensive end back to Dallas.

“Without a doubt, what Jerry has done for him over the last seven years played a huge role,” Schaffer told The Dallas Morning News.

However, as the Cowboys discovered, anything is possible before a contract is signed. An hour after the initial five-year, $70 million deal was struck, news broke that Gregory had struck the same deal with the Broncos.

It’s a huge turnaround for the Cowboys, who drafted Gregory with their 60th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Gregory’s rare combination of size and athleticism caused many to view him as a top 10 prospect in that season. draft class, but off-field concerns eventually pushed him to Dallas in the latter half of the second round.

Both talent evaluation reports turned out to be accurate. Gregory currently has 16.5 career sacks from him despite starting just 13 games for the Cowboys, though he has spent time on and off the roster due to multiple suspensions throughout his career.

At times, it seemed doubtful that Gregory would ever make it to this foray into free agency. He was suspended from the league indefinitely in 2019. However, in an inspiring turn of events, he managed to turn the tide and was reinstated in the NFL in the spring of 2020, making his debut in Week 7 of the season that year. .

From there, Gregory became one of the team’s biggest success stories in 2021. With a full NFL offseason for the first time in his career, he anchored the Cowboys’ right side of the line, posting the best career-high 11 starts and finishing with 19 tackles, four tackles for loss and six sacks.

Rather than re-sign in Dallas, Gregory will become the second No. 94 to leave the Cowboys for Denver in recent memory, joining DeMarcus Ware in 2014.

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Randy Gregory changes course and opts for Denver