OXNARD, CA (KLTV) - When a player is taken in the first two rounds of the draft, usually they're expected to contribute as a rookie. In the case of Byron Jones and Randy Gregory, there is a good chance both will see action in year one with the Cowboys.
Greg Hardy is set to miss the first, four games of the season which gives Gregory opportunity to see more time on the field as a defensive end.
"The biggest thing is growing every day, maturing every day and I'm trying to. I have my flaws but I'm trying to get better every day and I think I have," said Gregory. "I think everyone's goal coming in as a rookie is to be the best you can be and then eventually be the best in the league at your position or overall. I try to carry that mindset."
Being able to transition into the pace of the NFL is crucial for every rookie who only has playing experience in the college level. For Jones, he admits he isn't there yet but it's just a matter of time before he his.
"I think with reps it takes time. Mental reps, physical reps, it just takes some time," said Jones. "As long as I'm on the field with a Dallas Cowboys helmet on I'm happy. The speed of the game and skill set of the opposing players, you're not going to see players like this at the college level. It's a lot of things into one."
"Some good things from Byron is we like what he did in the spring playing corner outside," said head coach Jason Garrett. "He also showed some position flexibility. He played some safety. We actually had him inside at times so we anticipate him being one of those kinds of players. That's one of the things we liked about him on draft day. He's really a dedicated kid too"
Garrett has also seen great potential in their second-round draft pick Gregory.
"When someone with heavy hands strikes you, you feel it and some guys might be strong in the weight room but they're not heavy handed guys. It's a good trait to have," said Garrett. "The other good thing Randy has is he has great length he uses. If you see him use a long arm move or how he's handling an offensive linemen or a tight end, he sets the edge and he does a really nice job with that as well."
The Cowboys were second in the NFL last season in takeaways but they ranked 28th in terms of sacks and Gregory could also help in that regard.