David Irving

© Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

David Irving: I’m Not In The NFL Because "I'm The Perfect Model Citizen"

February 26, 2019 - 10:55 am

By Mike Fisher and Josh Clark 

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - The Dallas Cowboys will let David Irving walk this offseason as he's set to hit free agency next month, according to 105.3 The Fan's Mike Fisher.

Fish reported last week that the Cowboys have been and are still done with the defensive tackle, which may have prompted Irving to speak out again on social media Monday night. 

“I’m in the NFL because I’m great at what I do,” Irving wrote on Instagram. “I’m not in the NFL because I’m an Eagle Scout, or the perfect model citizen. I didn’t put on a mask or kiss ass to be where I am. I’m here on natural ability. This is God’s plan. Not mine. Trust me, I’m adjusting to it as well. Once I step on the field and stop performing, THEN we have a problem … So does anyone have anything to say about my play?”

Irving isn't wrong when he says his talent is what got him in the league, but it doesn't matter how talented he is on-the-field if he can't be, as he calls it, 'a model citizen' off-the-field. 

Fish reported that Irving was plagued by "off-the-field" issues the entire season as he missed "multiple" mandatory drug tests and didn't show up to the team's headquarters in Frisco to rehab an injured ankle.

"David Irving has a substance-abuse issue and that, combined with an absence of love for his job, caused him to fail to show up for work for the better part of months, thus rendering him unemployable," Fish reported on Feb. 19.

Irving's personal life remains in a state of turmoil due in part to his tumultuous relationship with the mother of his young daughter. But his football life was on hold only in part due to the high ankle sprain he sustained in practice on Nov. 2. More problematic: "He's just sort of checked out,'' one person close to the situation told Fish. 

Irving is in the NFL's substance abuse program; sources informed Fish that during Cowboys training camp last summer he skipped at least one mandatory test ("failure to comply,'' the NFL calls it) and once the 2018 season began, he was hit with a four-game suspension. That marked the second consecutive season Irving was on the suspended list to start the year.

Earlier this year, Irving indicated that he was finding peace in all of this, saying, "I’ve been through a lot, (but) I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel.''

The reality here: An "FTC'' ("failure to comply'') counts the same as a failed test for all NFL players, including Irving, who has at times been vocal about his objection to the drug policy as it relates to marijuana use.

As talented as he is -- Irving has played in only 10 games over the last two seasons but registered eight sacks during that stretch.

In a tweet last week, Irving appeared to be confused about all the reports of the Cowboys decision to move on from him, but Fish didn't think he was confused at all then, nor does he think he's confused now.