The Dallas Cowboys have officially retained David Irving this week by signing him to his exclusive rights tender, locking the promising 23-year old defensive lineman into a deal will play next year for just $615,000.
And in the 6-foot-7 former Chiefs practice-squadder who became NFC Player of the Week fodder in Dallas, what are the Cowboys getting?
Maybe the 12th best player in his 2015 NFL Draft class.
In just 489 snaps last season, Irving totaled 17 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles, and and five pass defenses. He also struggled with inconsistency — Cowboys coaches often whispered to CHQ that he “plays young’’ — and he was ejected at the start of the Cowboys-Browns game for fighting. But he is well-liked and bright, someone maybe coming into his own in terms of maturity (an area of concern in his college days at Iowa State).
He can play inside or out, and when we talk about Dallas needing to add an edge rusher in this draft, we all need to remember the possibility that Irving will emerge, along with end Charles Tapper (injured during his 2016 rookie year) and tackle Maliek Collins, like Tapper a 2016 rookie though a highly effective one.
Where does Irving fit in the Dallas D? A variety of spots.
Where does he fit in NFL.com’s “re-Draft’’ of the 2015 selection process?
Even though Irving went undrafted, a re-do based on his performance in Dallas moves him all the way up to No. 12 overall, something rep Louis Bing is certainly proud of.
In 2018, the contractual process begins again, with Irving as a restricted free agent. He won’t be a fully unrestricted free agent until 2019, and maybe that’s a good thing for all involved, as Irving finds himself chasing the fulfillment of his potential as evidenced by his “re-Draft.’’