This is a messy situation that certainly has the front office angry, but fans should be mad also.
The main reason is that Gregory gave the Cowboys every indication that he was re-signing with them but turned around and told the Denver Broncos the same thing.
Gregory claims the language in the contract with the Broncos is more favorable to him.
Former players agree that the language is important because not every team has the same boilerplate language in their contracts, and that appears to be the case in this situation.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the language is related to forfeiture policies that the Cowboys have in most players’ contracts; Dak Prescott is an exception.
In short, it comes down to money.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2022
Many questions regarding the Randy Gregory contract language matter. Explained here: pic.twitter.com/845SnQCpK3
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) March 16, 2022
Besides being duped and being without a key component of the Cowboys’ defense, the team has one other reason to be mad.
Cowboys Stuck By Gregory
Gregory’s career has happened between suspensions for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
He was suspended multiple times between 2016 and 2020.
On the field, in 2021 with the Cowboys, Gregory had one of his finest seasons.
In 12 games, he had 17 quarterback hits, 15 solo tackles, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery.
It Is Not 4 PM EST Yet
Contracts are officially signed at 4:00 PM EDT on March 16.
As of this writing, there is still time for the Cowboys to convince Gregory to come back.
It is the ultimate “Hail Mary” pass for the team who originated the miracle play.
The Cowboys losing Gregory in such an egregious way hurts the roster and the likelihood defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can perform the same magic with the team’s defense in 2022.
If Gregory changes his mind again, owner Jerry Jones will likely forgive and welcome him back, but it sounds like Jones would have to remove this contract language for Gregory to even consider coming back.
He is a big component of that defense that is going to be hard to replace.
Football is a cold-hearted business.
Free agency is a stressful time with a lot of moving parts, but usually, the player and his agent do not agree to terms with one team and turn around and do the same thing with another team.
There was some dirty play by the agent for Randy Gregory. For sure.
Still, this was a layup for the #Cowboys. You have to get the deal done.
Shameful that it didn't.
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) March 15, 2022
The Cowboys should not have waited so long to negotiate with Gregory, but the delay was probably about their cap situation more than about their interest in keeping Gregory.
We do not have both sides of the story so it is hard to fully understand how this disconnect became so severe or if it could have been repaired earlier.
Regardless, this is a huge disaster and embarrassment for the Cowboys who got played by one of their own players.