FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have not moved away from their position earlier in the offseason regarding Randy Gregory, but there is some optimism that the suspended defensive end could be available to them this summer.
In February, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys would prepare for 2018 as if they would not have their former second-round pick. By next week, Gregory could apply for reinstatement to the NFL after missing last season.
"He's being very diligent in preparing his information and preparing his application," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Wednesday at the team's annual tournament at Cowboys Golf Club. "I have been proud of Randy during this offseason. I'm very aware of how hard he's working to get back in the league and get back on the field."
Gregory and his legal team have been putting together a comprehensive plan once they file for reinstatement that includes letters of support from teammates Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lee and Jeff Heath, sources said.
Attorney Daniel Moskowitz declined comment on the status of Gregory's reinstatement application but said he is "proud" of how Gregory has handled the process.
According to the NFL's substance abuse policy, once the reinstatement paperwork has been filed, "all individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application." There have been instances in which the timeline has been extended because not all of the steps have been completed in time.
The Cowboys are set to open training camp in Oxnard, California, in the final week of July. If the application is filed by next week, commissioner Roger Goodell could have a decision before camp begins.
Gregory has missed 30 of the past 32 regular-season games for multiple violations of the substance abuse policy that include failed and missed tests. He fell to the Cowboys in the second round in 2015 because of similar issues while at Nebraska.
He has played in 14 of a possible 48 games in his career, missing four with an ankle injury and 30 because of suspension. He has one career sack.
During the offseason, the Cowboys added Kony Ealy in free agency and drafted Dorance Armstrong in the fourth round to add to a defensive end group that includes DeMarcus Lawrence, who had 14.5 sacks last year; Crawford; Taco Charlton, a first-round pick last year; Datone Jones, a former first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers; and Charles Tapper.
"We've always said, first and foremost, we're more concerned with Randy fixing himself off the field," Stephen Jones said Wednesday. "I applaud him. I think he's worked hard to get to this point that he can apply for reinstatement. I still think it's, first and foremost, that he take care of himself off the field. There's no doubt what we think about his skill as a pass-rusher on the field. By no stretch are we just saying, 'Hey, we're going to bank on that.' We're still thinking about him and hoping he gets everything done the right way off the field and then good things will happen for him. If that happens, then we all know what kind of player he can be."