Cowboys hater Stephen A. Smith vouches for Michael Irvin amid misconduct lawsuit

Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's \"First Take\" at Florida
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's \"First Take\" at Florida / Tori Lynn Schneider / USA TODAY NETWORK

It's been nearly four months since Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin was nixed from NFL Network's Super Bowl coverage following allegations of misconduct by a woman he met in a Arizona hotel lobby.

ESPN removed Irvin from its coverage of the game and the Hall of Famer's suspension extended through the 2023 NFL Draft. In fact, Irvin remains on the broadcasting sidelines while his legal team works to find a solution.

Irving has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, claiming his exchange with the woman involved a handshake and short conversation. The former Cowboy responded in the form of a $100 million defamation lawsuit against both his accuser -- an employee of the hotel -- as well as Marriott International.

It's really anyone's guess when this quarrel will resolve itself. Irvin has been off NFL Network and ESPN platforms since February, and one Stephen A. Smith, a notorious Cowboys hater, is ready for Irvin to return to the Worldwide Leader.

As ESPN searches for a new full-time co-host for "First Take," Smith made it abundantly clear he'd love to work alongside Irvin.

Stephen A. Smith wants Cowboys legend Michael Irvin back on First Take

Here's what Smith said of Irvin on his podcast.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen with him [Irvin]. I don’t know what his situation is. I haven’t spoken to him in a while. There’s not much on this planet Earth I would not do for Michael Irvin. That’s my brother. I love him to death. And I think he makes great television. And I would never ever sit up there and tell anybody that I want anybody more than I want Michael Irvin. It’s just things that are going on are out of my control, whether it’s the NFL, NFL Network, ESPN, I don’t know. I don’t have any control over that, that’s beyond my pay grade."

Talk of ESPN hiring a new co-host alongside Smith has ramped up after Shannon Sharpe's buyout from Fox Sports due to Sharpe's deteriorating relationship with Skip Bayless, who was Stephen A's first co-host on First Take before Max Kellerman took the reins from 2016-21 after Bayless signed with Fox.

Smith's reputation as a Cowboys hater goes without saying, but fans have to appreciate Smith vouching for Irvin. Unfortunately for Irvin, not much traction has been made amid his legal battle against Marriott International and the female employee, so it's likely to drag for a little while longer.

It's devolved into a case of he said, she said. Irvin claims no wrongdoing and that their conversation was neither platonic nor sexual, while Marriott claims that Irvin made the employee "visibly uncomfortable" and approached her with a sexually explicit question.

Three witnesses supported Irvin before and after the release of the video.

Again, it remains unclear when a settlement will be reached. Until then, Irvin likely will remain suspended. When his moratorium ends, though, it stands to reason that he'll have a seat reserved for him on "First Take's" debate desk alongside Stephen A.

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