If one were so inclined, the headline “Dallas Cowboys [Player] Suspended” could be saved, tucked away, and brought out at some point prior to every season and be relevant. For the fifth straight season, the Dallas Cowboys will start the season short-handed. And for the second straight season, the player missing will be defensive lineman David Irving.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 15, 2018
Once again, Irving is expected to miss the first four games of the season, pending appeal. Last season, the suspension was for a violation of performance drug policy; this time it’s based on the substance abuse policy. That distinction is pretty important because that’s why Irving’s suspension(s) were of four games apiece, not two and ten games, which he would’ve gotten for a repeat offense.
Irving entered this offseason as a restricted free agent, ultimately signing a tender for one year, $2.91 million to stay in Dallas. However, he hasn’t been with the team much due to a custody battle that also included allegations of domestic violence against Irving by his ex-girlfriend. The case has since been closed, so it’s unlikely that any disciplinary actions revolving around that will be enacted.
This will be the 24-year-old’s fourth season in the NFL since coming out of Iowa St. He originally signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, but never appeared in a regular season game for them, instead he was placed on the practice squad until he was claimed by the Dallas Cowboys in late September of 2015. In his time with the Cowboys, Irving has 11.5 sacks (including seven in 2017), 33 tackles, and assists on 19 more.