Cowboys owner Jerry Jones normally goes looking for cameras if they don’t find him. But he was strangely silent after Sunday’s loss to the Panthers, a media blackout he ascribed to pre-game reports about the status of defensive end Randy Gregory.
Gregory left the game with a concussion, but Jones said during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan that if he’s healthy, Gregory will play this week.
“I didn’t really want to get into any conversation about Gregory,” Jones said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I had made my mind up really before the game that I wouldn’t visit because I knew his situation would come up. It had nothing to do with, as far as I’m concerned, it had nothing to do with visiting with the media regarding the loss. I’ve done that a skillion times as you know. I really just didn’t want to get into the Gregory thing.”
Sunday’s game was Gregory’s first since the end of the 2016 regular season finale, as he was suspended all last season for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse program.
Jones said the reports that Gregory had a relapse and was subject to league discipline were unfounded, and that the only thing that would affect his availability for this week’s game was his movement through the concussion protocol.
“Just think that he’ll be, absent any issues with his health, I think he’ll be on the field and have no reason to think that he won’t,” Jones said. “I don’t where the media gets their way of expressing concern other than the fact that his status in the NFL is one that requires him to really be succinct in how he handles his business, which is unlike 95 percent of the players in the league aren’t tested randomly. So, he’s tested randomly as much as 10 times every two weeks. Those things always concern you. But as far as his availability for this coming Sunday, I think it’s great. . . .
“I don’t think these reports have any substance at all if you really want to know the truth about it. It’s really not good that you can have these issues and have it speculated on and that in an of itself looks to everyone that there is something there. But I have seen too many times the media make these assertions or make these particular, or have these kind of prognosis but it be nothing but pulling it out of the air.”
If Jones really wants to take the oxygen out of what he sees as a problem, he’ll push for his league’s drug testing program to actually be confidential, which it continues to not be.