Sources: Randy Gregory rejoins Cowboys after appeal hearing

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory was back at team headquarters Wednesday after spending Tuesday in New York, attending a hearing for an appeal of a third suspension, according to sources.

Now the Cowboys and Gregory have to wait for commissioner Roger Goodell to determine the player's fate.

Gregory is looking at a potential year-long suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy that occurred this season. He was suspended the first four games of the 2016 season for a violation during his rookie season and subsequently suspended another 10 games for missing a test in the offseason.

Gregory and his agent split ties recently but that did not affect the status of his hearing.

The most-recent violation, which is believed to be for missing another test, occurred during the regular season while he was with the team but not practicing.

According to the NFL's substance-abuse policy, "within a reasonable period of time, following the hearing, the Commissioner will issue a written decision which will constitute a full, final, and complete disposition of the appeal and which will be binding on all parties."

What defines a "reasonable period of time?" The Cowboys hope they get a resolution after Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 so Gregory could continue to play, but it is possible a decision could come down before they open the playoffs Jan. 15 at AT&T Stadium in the divisional round.

Gregory recorded the first sack of his career in the Cowboys' Week 17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. He made his season debut a week earlier against the Detroit Lions.

To get Gregory on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys waived defensive end Zach Moore, who was subsequently claimed by the San Francisco 49ers. Had the Cowboys known Gregory would not be available for the playoffs, perhaps they would have made a different roster move.

The Cowboys will go through conditioning work and film review today and will practice Thursday and Friday.

"We'll continue to prepare and get him ready to play," Jason Garrett said Monday. "If that's not the case, we'll prepare somebody else to play."
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