Five Dallas Cowboys with the biggest Boom-Bust potential

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders perform during the came against the at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders perform during the came against the at AT /
5 of 6
dallas cowboys
ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 18: Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is pressured by David Irving #95 and Terrell McClain #97 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

David Irving

David Irving is missing from training camp and will be suspended the first four games of the season. I almost disqualified him from my list because we likely won’t know much about him until halfway through the season. But denying his potential is something I cannot do, despite his return date now coming into question. Therefore he makes the list.


Before the 2017 season was even over, I was calling for the Dallas Cowboys to extend Irving long-term before it was too late (Luckily they didn’t listen). But my argument, based primarily on his production, still holds true. David Irving, 24, may be the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL, not named Aaron Donald.

In Irving’s last 12 games, he collected a total of 10 sacks. That’s .833 sacks per game, coming out to roughly 13 over the course of a full season. That’s a number that would have led the NFL last season (from interior linemen). And if you watch all of his tape you’ll see it’s not just sacks, but constant pressure he brings. His numbers are no anomaly.

When Irving is on the field he’s a disruptive force, regardless of who’s blocking him. At 6’7” 285, Irving is a giant of man who plays fast and plays nasty. If he could only find a way to stay on the field and stay out of trouble, he could be an All-Pro. That’s Boom.


Like Randy Gregory, it takes more than talent to make it in this league. David Irving has been suspended twice for violations against the NFL’s substance abuse policy. His absence from camp indicates his issues are more severe than we once thought and they have the very real possibility of permanently derailing his career (and his life).

Playing on a one-year tender, it’s not completely unrealistic to think he may never play for the Dallas Cowboys again. Heck, he may never play football again. But then again, he may be handling everything the right way. And he may be getting his life back on track. We just have no idea how this is going to play out.

David Irving could be an absolute super star or a complete bust. Like the guys ahead of him on this list – this season will say a lot about which direction he’ll be going.