Jerry Jones says you can expect troubled Randy Gregory to play for Cowboys this week

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When the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones said last month that they were sticking behind their “ugly baby” Randy Gregory, we assumed it meant for the 2017 season.

But it appears the Cowboys have designs on him contributing this season — as in Gregory is expected to play Sunday against the Detroit Lions. For real.

Jones said that their troubled defensive end, who has missed the entire 2016 season to date with multiple suspensions, will return this week.

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Randy Gregory was suspended 14 games this season. (Getty Images)
Randy Gregory was suspended 14 games this season. (Getty Images)

The 2015 second-round pick, who has had off-field issues dating back to before he arrived at Nebraska, is eligible to practice this week and is expected to be a part of the team’s workouts before the game. As for his game shape?

We shall see. It’s still concerning that Gregory failed a drug test this season while serving a suspension for a first positive drug test. His last game was almost a year ago — Week 17 of the 2015 season when he collected one tackle against the Washington Redskins.

How much Gregory can contribute is unknown, but the Cowboys’ pass rush has been a season-long concern that they’d like to ramp up for the playoffs. Giving him two games down the stretch to get loose could add a little juice in a need area. Plus, the fact that interior rusher David Irving, who also has had his share of off-field concerns, has been a model citizen since arriving in Dallas shows that the Cowboys have examples of players who have kept their noses clean under their watch.

Can Gregory do it? We shall see. The reason teams were scared of this top-10 talent coming out of college was because he was viewed as unreliable.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!