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David Irving has been suspended to start the season for the second time in two years. Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, Irving was able to come in and make an impact despite the suspension and an injury last season.
Though Irving only played eight games, he had seven sacks, three tackles for loss, 19 QB pressures and six passes defensed. This time, Irving will miss four games again due to violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
As a result of the suspension, Irving will forfeit roughly $685,000 in salary when he had forfeited just $150,000 last season. The suspended defensive tackle will be able to take part in preseason and training camp activities. However, he will not be able to return during the regular season until October 1st.
Irving told the media the following: “There’s more to life than just football. I’m actually a real person. I have family issues I’ve been dealing with. I can’t go into much detail. Just know that it’s behind me. Once the season starts, I won’t be dealing with this BS anymore.” Because of his issues, Irving had been “sporadically” attending offseason training activities.
With all of these off-field issues, it’s easy for one to wonder if the troubled player will be around after his one-year tender is up.
In looking at the Cowboys defensive tackle position position, there are two young players that the Cowboys coaching personnel could find comfort in playing; Datone Jones and Jihad Ward.
Jones has experience playing on the Cowboys defensive line and the coaching staff loved his versatility. Ward was closely observed by defensive coach Rod Marinelli at last year’s Senior Bowl And appears to be just as versatile.
Maliek Collins will also miss considerable time with a broken foot. So, with the coaching staff already eyeing these two, rolling the dice on these two young players may be the best idea.
In taking their chances on the two young players, the Cowboys management will give them the benefit of game experience. This early in the offseason, there is no real winning scenario for the Cowboys with Irving.
If they look for a replacement, management will have to wait until somebody proven is released. One might say that sitting Irving for the majority of the preseason is beneficial to developing the aforementioned players. However, it could be detrimental to him having less time with the team.