Dallas Cowboys: This important defender could be out all year

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

When the Dallas Cowboys face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16, they’ll do so with a key member of their defense on the bench due to injury once again.

For the Dallas Cowboys, 2017 is quickly becoming the “lost” season. After posting an amazing 13-3 record last year and easily winning the NFC East divisional crown, this year’s version of America’s Team has suffered from both injuries and suspensions.

The Cowboys currently have a record of 8-6 with their playoff hopes riding on their next two contests as well as the outcomes of other games within their conference. The two biggest reasons for this decline are injuries to prime players like linebacker Sean Lee and left tackle Tyron Smith and the six-game suspension of superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Unfortunately, one of the Cowboys biggest defenders suffered from both a suspension and a major injury this season. Defensive tackle David Irving could have had a massive breakout year in Dallas. Instead, he will now miss his third straight game in a row due to a concussion. In fact, it’s an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

Irving made some noise in 2016, his second season in Dallas. He posted an incredible performance against the Green Bay Packers in Week Six where he recorded four tackles, a sack, one pass defend and three forced fumbles. Irving would finished the year posting 17 total tackles, 4.0 sacks, pass defends and four forced fumbles in 15 games.

Many believed 2017 would be Irving’s best yet for the Cowboys. Unfortunately, the 24-year old was slapped with a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Upon his debut in Week Five, against those same Packers, Irving exploded for five tackles, 2.0 sacks and a pass defend.

The third-year defender would go one to record a whopping six sacks in his first four games for Dallas this season. Irving was simply on a tear. But against the Washington Redskins in Week 13, the young defender suffered a concussion. And he’s been sidelined ever since.

Earlier this week, Irving admitted via Twitter that he is still having headaches nearly a month after the incident. His status for the rest of the season is certain in jeopardy.

Fortunately for Dallas, they have been able to find a way to win their last two games without Irving in the lineup. But those victories would have surely come a bit easier if he was on the field.

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Without David Irving as an option, the Dallas Cowboys will continue to turn to their younger defensive tackles like Maliek Collins, Richard Ash, and Lewis Neal to pick up the slack. We can only imagine what this season would have been like in Dallas if players like Irving and Elliott had played all year.