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David Irving makes his push to remain in the NFL, but still doesn’t sound like he gets it

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David Irving’s career is at a crossroads and it’s unclear which direction it will go.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

If only David Irving knew what it takes to remain on the field for an NFL team. The guy is an enormous talent, a difference-maker when he’s on the field. He’s just not on the field enough. Here is the conundrum facing any NFL team that wants to employ Irving. In the last two seasons for the Cowboys he’s participated in 10 games. Yet, in those 10 games he has eight sacks. What NFL team wouldn’t want a sack-a-game defensive lineman? On the other hand, what team wants a player who has been suspended twice, a player who has had other off the field issues, a player who it’s been rumored isn’t as committed to his work as he should be; essentially a player who can’t be counted on?

Earlier reports have suggested that he Cowboys are not interested in bringing Irving back. Just last offseason there was much debate about whether the Cowboys should place a first-round or second-round tender on Irving. Now, the Cowboys appear ready to walk away.

Irving is making his own pitch to stay in the NFL. Unfortunately, his words tend to emphasize the problem.

I’m in the NFl because I’m great at what I do. I’m not in the NFL because I’m an Eagle Scout , or the perfect model citizen. I didn’t put on a mask or kiss ass to be where I am. Im here on natural ability . This is God’s plan. Not mine. Trust me , I’m adjusting to it as well. Once I step on the field and stop performing , THEN we have a problem .. . So does anyone have anything to say about my play ?

In response to what he asks at the end of his statement - nobody has anything negative to say about Irving’s play. Nobody has had anything to say about that other than positive accounts. By any measure, he’s a major force when he plays.

It would appear, though, that he doesn’t understand that he has to play to be that force, that injuries, suspensions, distractions, and everything else that go with the David Irving package are robbing him of time on the field. One of the best abilities is availability and Irving is failing that test.

He puts any team that employs him in a bind because they are never sure when he will be ready to play. When will the next suspension be coming? Will something happen off the field that will keep him from playing? None of this is to suggest Irving is a bad guy, a man should be able to live his life the way he wants. But when you choose certain things, you may have to sacrifice others. Irving has been sacrificing his NFL career recently.

No one is questioning his talent. He needs to understand that talent alone isn’t enough. Once he gets that internalized he may finally get his NFL career to take off. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will happen with the Cowboys.