If a Cowboys Defensive Player Fails a Drug Test, is it a Repeat Headline, or New News?

Whenever I get a notification on my phone of a Cowboys defensive player getting suspended, my first reaction is never anger. Why’s that? Because I already knew this, right? David Irving’s situation is a little different, I knew this was his first infraction. But when it’s someone like Randy Gregory, Rolando McClain, or Joseph Randle (offensive player), I always feel like the ESPN app is pulling a Mike Francesa on me and reporting old news as if it is new news.


But then I’ll talk to my Dad, and the conversation will go something like this:

Dad: “You heard about (player), right?”

Me: “Yeah, but he was already suspended, so he just appealed and lost so the suspension was confirmed, right?”

Dad: “No. He got in trouble again. Suspended for another year.”

Let’s look at all of the substance related suspensions the Cowboys have faced since the start of the 2015, all of which have come on the defensive side of the ball:

July 2, 2015- Rolando McClain: On July 2, the NFL announced that he would be suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.”

February 19, 2016- Randy Gregory: “On February 19, 2016, Gregory was suspended for the first four games of the season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy.”

June 30, 2016- DeMarcus Lawrence: “On June 30, 2016, Lawrence was suspended for four games, after his appeal was denied.” (Failed drug test for amphetamines)

June 30, 2016- Rolando McClain: “On June 30, he was suspended for the second season in a row for violating the NFL substance abuse policy, this time for the first 10 games of the 2016 NFL season. On August 2, it was reported that McClain had become addicted to codeine after consuming the mixture known as purple drank, and that he is “a long way from ever resuming his NFL career”.”

September 29, 2016- Randy Gregory: “A few months later, Gregory failed a second drug test, checked into an undisclosed treatment facility and was removed from the team’s roster. He received an additional 10-game suspension, making him ineligible to return to the Cowboys until December 19.”

November 20, 2016- Rolando McClain: “Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain is facing a year-long suspension for missing a drug test, according to multiple reports.”

December 2, 2016- Rolando McClain: “The NFL announced on Friday that McClain has been suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. McClain, who was given a 10-game suspension in June, was supposed to return on Nov. 14, but that didn’t happen because he reportedly failed another drug test. That failed drug test is what led to his latest suspension.”

January 5, 2017- Randy Gregory: “On November 11, it was reported that Gregory supposedly failed another drug test and was facing a year long suspension added on to his current 14 game suspension…. Although there was a possibility that the NFL would delay the appeal hearing for his latest suspension and allow him to play in the postseason, the meeting was held on January 3, 2017, with the league officially announcing that Gregory would be suspended for the playoffs and at least for one season on January 5, after allegedly missing a scheduled drug test.”

May 23, 2017- David Irving

Holy, shit. I honestly didn’t realize how bad it was until I looked up all those suspensions. These aren’t even to mention the Greg Hardy suspension, reduced suspension, and all the backlash from that, as well as RB Joseph Randle’s suspensions, and all of his arrests since he has been released by the Cowboys. All of the players mentioned have shown great signs when on the field throughout their careers, with most of these guys being young as well. The Cowboys defense could be so much better if not for all of these off the field issues. While these issues are related to all different types of substances, I only have one message to these Cowboys players who are screwing up their promising careers with off the field problems.

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