FRISCO, Texas – David Irving's voice hadn't been heard throughout the Cowboys' offseason up to this point, but he did his best to make up for it on the final day of minicamp.
The Cowboy's talented defensive tackle has essentially been a ghost since the team ramped up its offseason program – drifting in and out of the facility, rarely seen and never heard. The result has been a bizarre speculation about his whereabouts and his commitment to the team.
After what has undoubtedly been a strange few months, Irving opened up on Thursday – to a point, at least.
"I can't go into too much detail about it, but just know that it's behind me," Irving said. "By the time the season starts, I won't be dealing with any of this BS anymore. I'll move through it, and I'm here to just focus on football and – hell, win some games."
What that is exactly is open to interpretation. Irving missed all three weeks of the Cowboys' OTAs last month, prompting criticism from his coaches about his conditioning and commitment. His absence also fueled wild speculation about the reason for it – which Irving himself addressed in an Instagram post last week.
"It's the offseason, I understand I haven't been around. There's questions in the air and all this controversy," Irving elaborated. "Like I said on Instagram, just let me get on the field and then y'all talk to me about that."
There's also the lingering question about domestic violence, as Irving was involved in a controversy with his then-girlfriend earlier this spring. In April, Angela Sanchez hacked Irving's Twitter account and levied him with several allegations of domestic violence – which she later retracted, citing emotional distress as her reason for lying.
Irving allowed that the situation is embarrassing, but pointed out that there's charges or court case against him.
"I tried to stay with her because we were high school sweethearts and we had a kid together. But it is what it is," he said. "I'm not worried about anything domestic. The stuff I've been dealing with has nothing to do with that, at all. It's the least of my worries."
That's not to say Irving is care-free. While talking to reporters, he touched on the fact that he was recently granted full custody of his daughter. That added responsibility is just another factor he said he's taking into account.
"I have to make a lot of changes," he said. "My whole life basically changed this offseason, quickly – all at once, in a lot of different aspects. But hell, I've just got to change and I have been."
Thursday was an interesting day for Irving to address these topics. With their minicamp concluded, the Cowboys' coaches and players are now on break until mid-July, when they make their preparations to leave for training camp.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was asked about that Thursday morning. He might not have mentioned Irving specifically, but he clearly fits the billing.
"It's certainly something you try to talk to your team about and reinforce the importance of making great decisions – not only getting yourself ready to play, but the decisions you make off the field."
It sounds like Irving will have some work to do in both regards. For all the talk about his conditioning, he told reporters that he actually weighs less right now than he did during the 2017 season – although he plans to lose 15-20 pounds in the next six weeks. On top of that, it seems he's still got a few other things he still wants to tend to personally.
"There's still a little bit of lingering things here and there, but it's not keeping me away from football anymore – and it won't," he said.
If that's the case, it'd be a big boost for a Dallas pass rush that looks as talented as it has in quite some time. Irving seems to understand that he's going to have his doubters. But starting this summer, he'll have his chance to answer them.
"I feel like I'm getting it all together. This offseason – to be honest, I know I should have done some things differently," he said. "It's been a tough OTAs and all this stuff, but I'm moving through it. I'm feeling better – much better."