Cowboys: Irving suspension simply par for the course for this franchise

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: David Irving /

A four game suspension for David Irving proves it’s the same old song and dance for the Dallas Cowboys. It has become a dubious tradition.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a Dallas Cowboys defender fails yet another drug test and starts the season suspended. Such is the case yet again with defensive end David Irving. It’s almost funny at this point. Not only do the Cowboys lead the NFL in league-mandated suspensions, they’ve almost lapped the field. It’s not even close.

I’ve said this more times than I care to remember. Covering this team is maddening, often infuriating. But “boring” never enters the equation. In fact, at a time where team news is generally sparse and unremarkable, the Cowboys stepped up their game. Sure enough, news of Irving’s punishment trickled out early on Friday.

I guess only silver lining to this is that it’s four games. If you’ll remember, Irving was suspended for the first four games of last season for performance-enhancing drugs. The NFL’s drug policy delineates between recreational and PEDs.

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Good thing, too, because Irving’s value on the field is exceedingly useful. He is a disruptive force of nature. You see, when he’s on, he possesses best-at-his-position talent. I don’t think anyone doubts that. What’s in question is his mental and emotional makeup.

Look, I get it. We’re not watching Boy Scouts out there on Sundays. A lot of us witnessed one of the NFL’s last true dynasties built on the shoulders of the “White House” Cowboys. We all more or less looked the other way so long as the wins and Lombardi trophies rolled in. It wasn’t “no harm, no foul”. It was more like, “Well, no one died, right?”

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The difference now, though, is that the last Super Bowl win occurred during that White House era. This team’s going on two-plus decades with nary an appearance in a conference championship game, much less a Super Bowl. And this is where the fan base is complicit in all of this. Like I said, we pretended nothing was wrong back then. But the team was busy earning all that hardware. Now, the glitz and glamour are still there, but the winning remains conspicuously absent. We’re the marks who keep paying to see the bearded lady over and over again. We keep showing up to Jerry’s Subpar Circus on a yearly basis, so the organization clearly has no need to even attempt to change their prison stripes.

Now is all of this David Irving’s fault? Not at all. Far from it, really. David Irving is simply a symptom of the underlying disease. Moreover, If he wasn’t so good at causing mayhem for opposing offenses, he’d have been out on his ringed ear long ago. What sets him apart is his athletic ability. So much so that the Cowboys are seemingly willing to put up with all the other headaches that come with him.

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Mark my words. If he comes back after his suspension in shape and wreaking havoc, we’ll get the standard narrative. We’ll hear about how he “gets it” and how he’s got his life in gear. Word will get around regarding a new contract. That’s just the way it is. We’re still over a month away from training camp, but the circus never ends.