What? A defensive player on the Dallas Cowboys won an award? I mean, how did this happen? Weren't they supposed to be cellar-dwellers all season as a defense? Of course, when I say this, I'm looking at Shannon Sharpe and other media guys that have some crow to eat, including myself. You're not hallucinating, the Dallas Cowboys have a defender who was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week and his name is David Irving.
Of course, David Irving already won an award this week when our own Tom Ryle tabbed him as the Game Ball winner. Way to recognize, Tom!
If you missed this week's trouncing of the former NFC powerhouse Green Bay Packers, you missed that Irving was incredibly active. He was credited with four tackles, a sack, three forced fumbles and a recovery as well. Perhaps his best feat? All of the aforementioned credits were made on only 19 snaps. The best play came when David Irving was able to strip-sack Aaron Rodgers inside the red zone, recovering the fumble and keeping the Packers from scoring.
If you would like to read a full breakdown of Irving's game against the Packers, I recommend this Stephen White article from SB Nation. Here is his conclusion, but check out the whole thing for some great analysis and GIFs.
If you are counting at home that was a sack, three caused fumbles, including one he himself recovered, a pass break up, a tackle for no gain and an assist. Oh, and Irving did all that in just 19 plays!
Keep in mind that heading into that game Irving only had one measly tackle and one pass breakup to his name for the season and that he had missed the prior week with a concussion. His breakout game couldn't have come at a better time.
Even with so little playing time, Irving made sure the Packers felt his presence on Sunday. He was a huge factor in the Cowboys beating the Packers and that's why he is my choice for Hoss Of The Week for Week 6 of the NFL season.
That's incredible for him but also for this defense moving forward. His height (6' 7") and active hands make him a hard person to account for as was shown when he batted down a Rodgers pass too. Irving wasn't the only Cowboys' defender to get honored this week. Barry Church won the team's weekly Knockout Award after he forced a fumble and snagged an interception in the Cowboys' 30-16 win at Lambeau Field.
As maligned as this defense has been in the eyes of pundits, they've outperformed themselves on the field. They currently rank seventh in points allowed and just kept their fourth team in a row under 20 points. They also rank 16th in yards given up and they're improving each week. The Cowboys took full advantage of a poorly performing top-notch quarterback and David Irving was a huge part of their success. Kudos to the big man and well wishes throughout the season. Anytime a defensive player is being recognized on the Cowboys, it's a thing to be proud of.