4. Re-signing David Irving
Before getting into why this is a good decision, I must address the elephant in the room. Cowboys’ defensive end, David Irving, is going to be suspended for the first four games of the regular season. While using and endorsing an over-the-counter product, Irving violated the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs. While this situation is unfortunate, it shouldn’t be of serious concern moving forward.
Irving is a supremely talented defensive lineman. At 6’7″he has the length that coaches salivate over. Coupled with his ability to bend and contort his body, Irving has the potential to be special in the NFL.
When Irving is on, he’s almost unblockable, most notably in the first Green Bay and Tampa Bay games, where he dominated. Yes, he needs to perform better on a weekly basis. But he’s only 23 years old. As Irving continues to develop under Cowboys defensive coordinator, Rod Marinelli, he’s likely to become a more consistent player and his production should rise.
Sometimes the smartest decisions are the easiest ones. Since Irving had only two years of playing experience, he was designated as an exclusive rights free agent. This meant he could only re-sign with Dallas, as long as they offered him the tender worth $615,000.
This guarantees Irving will be with the Cowboys this season, and will make him a restricted free agent after it ends. Dallas will then have the opportunity to sign Irving to a long term deal or match any other team’s contract offer, if they so choose.
Overall, the Cowboys will be able to control a player at a premium position for minimal financial cost, at a time where defensive ends are getting paid top dollar.