How could the possible suspension looming over Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving impact the team’s defense going into 2017?
The potential suspension for Dallas Cowboys breakout defensive end David Irving is troubling, to say the least. Irving apparently tested positive for a banned substance (not illegal drugs) but a reportedly over-the-counter product he was endorsing during the offseason.
Irving has appealed the suspension and there are rumors he has evidence to back up his side of the story however that does not really do anything to alleviate the worry that comes with this sort of situation.
Irving was one of the more productive defensive ends that the Cowboys had during the end of their 2016 season. He was a nightmare against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs and was expected to play a pivotal role this season.
Last year, the 23-year old recorded a total of 17 tackles, five pass defends, four forced fumbles and 4.0 sacks in 15 games.
If Irving does get suspended, he will miss the first four games of the season. Those matchups include the Cowboys annual date with the New York Giants, some important games in the west (matchups against the Arizona Cardinals/Denver Broncos) and a showdown in Los Angeles against the Rams.
As it stands, Irving likely isn’t slated to be a starter but could have earned a lot more snaps during training camp. This should push the spotlight on players such as the returning Charles Tapper, rookie Taco Charlton, and free agent addition Damontre Moore.
If the team is going to have an effective pass rush it will start with their edge rushers and if Irving misses any time at all that will hurt the group collectively. This may also force the Cowboys to keep an extra defensive end on the roster, which could force another solid role player off of the 53-man roster.
It is a long shot but the team could also add several players in June as camp preparation becomes the main focus. Free agent players such as Mario Williams, Glenn Dorsey, or Jared Odrick could be late summer editions to the roster if a suspension is officially handed down.