Battling Physical & Emotional Issues, David Irving Still Not At Cowboys OTAs

Mike Fisher
June 06, 2018 - 8:25 am
David Irving, Dallas Cowboys

© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports


FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) - Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving absence from OTAs is continuing this week, team sources tell me, all part of an offseason that almost couldn't be going more wrong.

Irving is launching into a contract year. And so far, we've got a failure to launch.

"You'd love to have him, no question," defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said last week as Irving missed OTAs 2. "But the guys who are here (are the ones who get my attention). They deserve that."
Irving, a potential break-out player launching into a contract year (starting with his having signed the second-round tender that will pay him $2.91 million) is, in short, not in shape physically, emotionally or mentally.

Irving is trying to escape a turbulent offseason that's included a false accusation of domestic violence from his girlfriend, the breakup of that relationship and what amounts to a custody battle involving his 5-year-old daughter Zoe - needs both.

“I just want peace,” Irving recently told me. “Peace for me to be able to do my job and get on with my life. And mostly, peace for Zoe.”

He also needs to get himself in physical shape. The 6' 7" Irving wants to play at around 295 pounds. Not long ago he admitted to me he was 12 to 15 pounds heavier than that, and he may be worse off now.

The Cowboys have a concern that participating in the demands of OTAs might represent an injury risk for someone not in the right condition. Meanwhile, my sense is that Irving himself might not want to be on the field while performing far below optimal level.

So two weeks and a day of OTA practices in, Irving, 24, is a no-go. And maybe even, in a sense, a no-show, as I'm told he's also an infrequent participant inside The Star as well.

Said linemate Taco Charlton: "We’re all here for him. We welcome him with open arms. He’s in our brotherhood.''

Irving, so productive when he plays, including in 2017 when he recorded seven sacks in eight games, has time to get this fixed. But next week comes mandatory minicamp, June 12-14, and the fines that come with missing: Minicamp fines under CBA: $14,070 for missing one day, $28,150 for a second day, and $42,215 for a third day, totalling $84,435.

And then comes training camp in Oxnard, California on July 24.

"Once all of that (personal business) is figured out,'' said defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, one of the sort of team leaders who cares about things that are bigger than football, "he'll be good to go."

Between now and then, Irving needs to help himself here. And during this time of turmoil, maybe the organization needs to make sure it's helping, too.