Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, David Irving, recently had some interesting things to say about the franchise he called home from 2015-2018. There’s already plenty of talk about a recent interview that Irving did with The Athletic.
The former Dallas defender and current member of the Las Vegas Raiders seemed to resent all the America’s Team hoopla and hated going to work for the team. What was Irving trying to say here?
Did Irving hate playing for the Cowboys because they cared more about their brand as America’s Team than they did winning? Is that the team as a whole just took things too seriously during his time in Dallas?
Neither insinuation would be particularly shocking. Later on in the interview, Irving took some direct shots at former head coach Jason Garrett while praising current Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden saying:
"“He is my type of coach. I couldn’t say the same for Jason Garrett. Gruden can relate to his players because he knows what he is doing and knows how to coach. He is not there just filling a position, he knows what he is doing.”"
Yikes, that’s a pretty scathing indictment of the job Jason Garrett was doing. By the time Garrett and the Cowboys parted ways last offseason, nearly everyone was over the decade-long marriage. However, Irving’s comments are still pretty blunt and harsh.
David Irving is no longer a member of the Dallas Cowboys and he is obviously free to speak his mind about his time with the team. However, these comments were some choice, though perhaps completely unsurprising statements from a player who famously skipped practices and very publically declared he was “quitting” football.
David Irving should have been a star for the Dallas Cowboys
At 6-foot-7 and 290 pounds, Irving had all the ability to be a hugely disruptive presence off the edge for the Cowboys. However, he battled injuries and faced multiple suspensions during his time in Dallas and as a result, he was never quite able to live up to his potential.
For fans, their fondest memory of Irving is likely to be his 2016 game against the Green Bay Packers. That afternoon Irving played only 19 snaps, but he made a massive impact in nearly every one of them, sacking Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers and forcing three fumbles, one of which came on the Dallas one-yard line. The Cowboys went on to win 30-16, advancing to 5-1 on the season.
Irving was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. His forced takeaways helped him make history as he joined DeMarcus Ware to become one of only two Dallas Cowboys to force three fumbles in a single game.
In March of 2019, after his third suspension in three seasons, Irving retired from professional football. He then became an ardent activist for marijuana, heavily criticizing the NFL’s outdated drug policy. This past November Irving was reinstated by the league and mounted a comeback with the Las Vegas Raiders.
He appeared in only two games all season but is still just 27 years old. However Irving felt about playing for Garrett, he certainly didn’t feel that way about everyone in Dallas. Irving just re-signed in Vegas, a move that will keep him reunited with former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who currently coaches the defensive line for the Raiders.
The Dallas Cowboys are a lightning rod for criticism, and some of it is definitely warranted. At the end of the day though Irving’s comments are a bizarre attack on a team that gave him opportunity after opportunity to try and prove himself.