As NFL starts to gear up for training camp, only 13 teams have met the player COVID-19 vaccination threshold of 85%, according to the NFL Network.
The Dallas Cowboys are not one of those teams and that worries Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
The Cowboys great sounded off on the unvaccinated players to the Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr., questioning whether or not they have the desire to win a Super Bowl if they choose not to get vaccinated.
“It should upset them,” he said. “Dude, you’re not thinking right. I don’t give a damn. Nothing else can be more important. You’re not going to get [a championship] easily. And not being one of the [vaccinated teams] says there’s other things to a great number of people on this team that are more important than winning championships and that makes me worried.”
It is unclear where the Cowboys stand among vaccinations, but according to the USA Today, the Cowboys do not have enough first doses to even get close to the 85% threshold before the start of training camp.
“Call me stupid because I try to take any little thing and turn it if you are a championship team,” Irvin said. “Any little thing because a championship team it’s not something you can walk by. It’s not candy that you pick up out of the bowl. It’s something that has to be grafted. Every decision has to be made like you’re winning championships. If you’re not one of the [vaccinated] teams are you really thinking about winning a championship?”
Per the NFL and NFLPA joint agreement on COVID-19 protocols, fully vaccinated players do not have to wear masks at the facility and will not be required to undergo daily testing.
They can also travel on the team charter to away games, work out in the weight room, participate in marketing events.
In addition to fewer restrictions at the team facility, if a vaccinated player has been exposed to a someone who tests positive, they will not be labeled a high-risk close contact. However, unvaccinated players will be, which is subject to a mandatory five-day isolation.
While vaccinated players can still test positive, it is rare and an outbreak is less likely to occur with more individuals vaccinated.
“If I’m on a team in this situation I’m going to make sure to ask, ‘you get vaccinated? You get vaccinated?’” Irvin said. “Somebody in that damn locker room needs to say, ‘Hey man we’re going to have a chance, are you vaccinated?’
“Let’s go through this because this could be two weeks, a healthy dude missing games. In this league that could be it for you. The right person misses two weeks, that’s it. You’re [butt] is out. I’ll fight a [expletive].”