Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said repeatedly that he will not give up on 2015 second-round pick Randy Gregory, who came into the draft with a failed drug test at the scouting combine and a perception that he could not handle some of the 'mental rigors' of professional football.
Gregory, who is currently serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, returned the favor by attending the team's annual golf event earlier this week, where, according to the Dallas Morning News, he happily interacted with sponsors and fans.
"As far as Randy, it is a big step for him to be out here interacting, a big smile on his face and meeting people," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "This is good for him, and I appreciate him being out here."
Jerry Jones noted that Gregory had the highest SAT score out of any player he's ever signed and said that he's enjoyed recent conversations the two have had together.
However, book smarts are not the issue at hand. Jones drafted Gregory with the knowledge that he would need help at the next level.
"There's no misunderstanding Randy Gregory as to where his obligations are and what he needs to get done," Jerry Jones said. "We don't have to worry about that part because he understands."
He added: "Pray for him and want him to have the kind of career his gifts will allow, which is he's an exceptional, exceptional football player -- probably was the top rusher of the last two drafts, that's just my opinion. We need him."
When it comes to making a transition like Gregory is, one can only hope he can put his 'demons' behind him. Mental and social health is a serious issue and can be exacerbated under the NFL's bright lights.
In the meantime, Jones, who did not offer an update on the appeal process of pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence, needs to find a way to get to the passer.