Photo by Aaron Babcock
Nebraska Football

Hot Reads: Former Husker Randy Gregory Showing Preseason Promise

August 27, 2018
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The Dallas Cowboys played their third preseason game Sunday night. It wasn't pretty, what with the eight turnovers and six punts in a 27-3 loss and all, but former Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory stood out.

In a good way.

From the NFL.com recap:

The Cowboys took the same approach of resting key starters on both sides of the ball Sunday night, so no quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, tackle Tyron Smith or linebacker Sean Lee, among others. Nevertheless, defensive end Randy Gregory was one player who saw a lot of action in the first half and he certainly made the most of his playing time. Gregory, who was reinstated in July after missing the 2017 season while serving a suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, flashed the athletic ability and playmaking skills that made him a second-round pick for the Cowboys in 2015. On the night, Gregory totaled three tackles (two solo), a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss. The Cowboys appear on track to have a good problem to figure out on how to rotate Gregory and second-year pro Taco Charlton opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence.

At least it looks like a "good problem to have" is developing for the Cowboys and that's good news for Gregory, who has certainly had his struggles. The talent is clearly still there.

But there was also a report during the game that there could be more trouble on the horizon for Gregory and the Cowboys. Owner Jerry Jones offered a sort of strange, half-denial of that report after the game.

I would say I hope Jones is right, but I'm not sure what that would actually mean with the statements given above. So I'll just say this: I'd like to see Gregory playing football this fall.

Why, Kansas?

The 2010s have not been kind to Kansas football. The Jayhawks are 15-81 over the last eight seasons, a stretch that includes a no-win season and two one-win seasons. Head coach David Beaty, entering his fourth season, probably has one more year to show some improvements before he's out and improvement doesn't exactly feel likely at this point. ESPN's FPI projects 3.3 wins for Kansas and the Jayhawks better get one of those wins this week against Nicholls.

I'm not expecting much of a turnaround for Beaty and the Jayhawks in 2018. I am expecting Kansas to be out searching for the next guy willing to give it a crack in Lawrence before the year is over. All of which is to say, I think Kansas may have accidentally provided a meme for this season ahead with what it thought was a perfectly harmless photo.

As my colleague Erin Sorensen put it to me last night: "Why did they do this to themselves?"

Sort of the existential question of Kansas football most years.

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