It’s been a series of self-inflicted wounds for Randy Gregory since he left Nebraska.

During the scouting combine, Gregory failed a drug test for marijuana. It was then revealed that he failed two drug tests in Lincoln. That resulted in him falling from a possible top-10 pick all the way to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 60 overall in the 2014 NFL draft. Gregory then suffered an ankle injury in the first half of his rookie season and he didn’t record his NFL tackle until Week 10.

Things got worse for Gregory, who was already in the league’s substance abuse program before he ever played a down. He was suspended for the first four games of 2016 after testing positive for marijuana again in February.

Despite all of the struggles for Gregory in his young career, the owner who took a chance on him is still high on his upside.

“There’s no misunderstanding Randy Gregory as to where his obligations are and what he needs to get done,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said to the Dallas Morning News. “We don’t have to worry about that part because he understands.”

Jones also 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.”

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Sports Illustrated did tab Gregory as the No. 1 pick during his final season in Lincoln in 2014. Still, that’s quite the compliment to give a guy whose still searching for his first NFL sack.

There were six edge rushers selected in the top 10 in the last two draft classes, one of them being Ohio State’s Joey Bosa. There was talk that the Cowboys would take Bosa at No. 4 overall, but the San Diego Chargers picked him third.

Instead, Jones waited until the second round landed outside linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was considered a consensus top-five pick before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

That’s good news for Gregory that Jones hasn’t given up on him becoming the elite edge-rushing prospect he drafted. Jones was criticized for giving troubled defensive end Greg Hardy too many chances before finally cutting ties with him this offseason. With Hardy gone and Smith out for the 2016 season, Jones is right; Dallas does need Gregory.

The only question is how much patience Jones will have for this troubled defensive end.