By Mike Fisher and Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - 105.3 The Fan's Mike Fisher wants to make something very clear ... the Dallas Cowboys have been and are still done with defensive tackle David Irving.
Irving, who didn't play for the Cowboys since the Redskins game in week 7, was plagued by "off-the-field" issues the entire season.
Irving's personal life remains in a state of turmoil due in part to his tumultuous relationship with the mother of his young daughter. But his football life was on hold only in part due to the high ankle sprain he sustained in practice on Nov. 2. More problematic: "He's just sort of checked out,'' one person close to the situation told Fish.
Irving is in the NFL's substance abuse program; sources informed Fish that during Cowboys training camp last summer he skipped at least one mandatory test ("failure to comply,'' the NFL calls it) and once the 2018 season began, he was hit with a four-game suspension. That marked the second consecutive season Irving was on the suspended list to start the year.
Earlier this year, Irving indicated that he was finding peace in all of this, saying, "I’ve been through a lot, (but) I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel.''
The reality here: An "FTC'' ("failure to comply'') counts the same as a failed test for all NFL players, including Irving, who has at times been vocal about his objection to the drug policy as it relates to marijuana use.
As talented as he is -- Irving has played in only 10 games over the last two seasons but registered eight sacks during that stretch -- there was also conditioning issues that blocked a potential return late in the season.