Cowboys: David Irving Must Play Big Role In Future


The Dallas Cowboys are hoping that former Iowa State defensive tackle David Irving fills a huge voids left in the middle of the defensive line.

After some big names have escaped the Dallas Cowboys defensive line over the last few seasons, a young, tall and talented play-maker may have finally arrived. In this case, it’s former Iowa State Cyclones defensive tackle/end David Irving.

Signed off the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad back on September 29, Irving brings more of that ‘boom or bust’ potential that owner and general manager Jerry Jones seems to love so much.

In case you’re not too familiar with Irving, you might recall his block of a Seattle Seahawks field goal attempt early in the 4th quarter on Week 8. The play kept the Cowboys very much in the game against the two-time defending NFC champions.

As far as ‘boom’ is concerned, Irving has a stunning skill set, which you may have also noticed against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. At 6’7” and weighing just under 275 pounds, there’s a heck of a raw athlete that’s been brought in to replace defensive tackle Davon Coleman, a second-year veteran that the Cowboys seemed rather high on just a few months ago.

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Irving has the widest wingspan in the NFL and certainly shows flashes of getting into opposing backfields – of course, there’s that blocked Steven Hauschka field goal, which already earned Irving special recognition from Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King.

Fun fact: Former Cowboys interior defensive lineman and current assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett played at 6’6” and weighed 290 pounds. With those dimensions, Lett was pretty much unblock-able wherever he happened to line up.

Yes, Irving has a great frame to work with and should only get thicker and stronger moving ahead.

What about the ‘bust’ potential?

Well, this is minimal considering that the Cowboys haven’t made a significant investment into Irving. Another factor to keep in mind is that Irving plummeted out of the 2015 NFL Draft because he didn’t play at all during the 2014 season for the Cyclones. Irving was dismissed from the program for a number of off-the-field incidents, which might actually make Irving a bit more of a project-type of player than his physical dimensions might suggest.

In 2013, there was an issue surrounding Irving and an ex-girlfriend – sound familiar? Yes, it was of the domestic assault variety that’s become a huge story for the Cowboys this season, and for obvious reasons.

In 2014, Irving was charged with a number of relatively minor charges in connection with a student riot, a move that proved fatal to his future at Iowa State.

It’s far too early to know exactly what the Cowboys have in Irving, but the early reviews look quite strong.

Aside from the running back position, there might have been no other more important in the ’15 NFL Draft than defensive tackle, an area where the Cowboys haven’t brought in a blue-chip prospect in some time. Veteran losses like Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff in recent seasons have only increased a void that only Tyrone Crawford has been there to fill – nothing against Nick Hayden, but he’s not exactly a penetrating force up front.

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No, the Cowboys may not have the kind of rotation that they once did back in the early 1990s, but Irving is certainly adding some quality depth and also helping to lay a foundation that can be built on for future seasons – if he stay out of trouble, that is.