If Cowboys great Michael Irvin were in charge of the Washington Football Team, he'd make sure Dwayne Haskins gets on the field again in 2020. If for no other reason than to verify the earlier assessment of the second-year quarterback.
Ron Rivera benched Haskins and demoted him to third string after Washington's Week 4 loss to Baltimore. After losing starter Kyle Allen to injury on Sunday, many thought Rivera might take this new opportunity to give Haskins another test ride, but the head coach says veteran Alex Smith will start against Detroit in Week 10.
"This is a tough situation right here," Irvin told 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, when asked how he would handle the QB situation in Washington. "And I understand they made the decision and some things happened, because when they made the decision, the next thing you know, they were sending Dwayne Haskins, the kid, home. And I got upset, because as soon as they made the decision, then one of our reporters comes out says, 'Well, the coaches said they want him to show more leadership by coming early and leaving late.'"
"I was like stop, stop it guys," he continued. "You already benched him, let's not ruin him. You know what I mean? Let's not destroy him. And that's what you have to be careful with when you're dealing with young quarterbacks. It's not how they are physically gifted shoulders down, it's how they handle things shoulders up. What kind of mindset.
"You know, Joe Burrow — I could play the young guy right now, because when he has setbacks, he fights back. He fights back. You want to see a guy that knows how to handle setbacks by fighting back, not handling setbacks by tanking. And that's what Joe Burrow does, so you're looking for guys to do that. What young guy that can handle a setback by fighting back. And that's why I got so upset when they put that out about Dwayne Haskins."
With Smith now steering the offense, Irvin says Rivera should be looking for an opportunity to get Haskins in a game. He acknowledged Smith was the choice because Washington is still in the hunt in the NFC East and Smith gives them the best chance to win.
"You've got to make a move or do something with the young kid, Dwayne Haskins," he said. "And if I get another chance, I'm gonna get him in there to make sure I saw what I saw. If you're saying he can't play, I want to make sure I saw that I don't think he can play at this level and I get ready to move him."
"So that quarterback position, I would be moving with it. I would be fluid with it," he said. "I would get Alex in there, but I'm looking for an opportunity to maybe get the kid back in there to see if he's learned anything by sitting down."
Now the second-string quarterback, Sunday's game against the Lions will be Haskins' first dressing since his demotion.