Report: Ex-Cowboys DL David Irving, who retired after multiple drug suspensions, reinstated by NFL

Jack Baer
·Writer
·2 mins read

When we last left former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving, at least as far as his football career is concerned, he was announcing his retirement while facing yet another drug suspension.

And doing so by lighting up a blunt on Instagram Live.

Now, Irving is reportedly trying to restart his NFL career after being conditionally reinstated by the league on Friday, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken.

The new NFL CBA should be a significant help for Irving’s cause, as the league will no longer suspend players for positive marijuana tests (the threat of fines still remain, however). However, how much leeway Irving gets could depend on the conditions of his reinstatement.

When he retired, Irving spoke at length about his frustrations with the league’s handling of marijuana and said that he considered his use of the drug as an alternative to painkillers.

Irving was suspended twice during his Cowboys tenure for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, the first for four games in 2018 and the second indefinitely in 2019. He was also suspended for four games in 2017 for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Where will David Irving land in NFL?

FRISCO, TX - JUNE 14: Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving (95) walks to the locker room after the Dallas Cowboys mini camp practice on June 14, 2018 at The Star in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Irving's talent was rarely in question. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Even though David Irving only played 37 games (10 starts) in four seasons with the Cowboys, it wasn’t due to lack of talent.

Irving, now 27 years old, racked up 33 tackles, 22 QB hits, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles in his final 13 games in Dallas, a span that happened to take place over three different seasons. Quality pass-rushers are always in short supply in the NFL, so it seems possible a few teams will want to give him a shot despite his baggage.

The Cowboys and their ailing defense could be thought of as a fit — especially since Jerry Jones has taken risks on pass-rushers like Aldon Smith and Greg Hardy in the past — but the team reportedly had no interest in retaining Irving when he was poised to hit free agency back in 2019.

Given what Irving has said about former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett since retiring, it’s hard to see the New York Giants — where Garrett is now offensive coordinator — as a possibility either.

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