FRISCO, Texas –David Irving didn't start or finish the 2017 season the way he wanted.
He spent the first four games serving a suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. Then he missed the last four games with a concussion suffered Nov. 30 against Washington.
In between, he often looked dominant, collecting a career-high seven sacks in only eight games from the three-technique tackle spot in Rod Marinelli's defense.
"I just keep thinking, what if I had played all of the games," Irving told reporters Monday after the Cowboys held their final team meeting of the season. "I probably could have gotten 15, 16, maybe more. So, just got to come back next year, stay the hell out of trouble, hopefully don't get injured and see what I could do next year."
Irving is set to be a restricted free agent, meaning the Cowboys can extend him a one-year qualifying offer and match any potential contract offer sheet from an interested team.
He says he'd like to return to the team that signed him off the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad in 2015.
"I want to be here. I wish to retire here," Irving said. "I hope I'm here. I feel like this is home. I have family here. It's out of my control, so we'll see what happens."
Irving said he's feeling better since the concussion, though he says he's still dealing with less frequent headaches. This offseason he's focused on getting down to a 285-pound playing weight – he bulked up to around 300 pounds for the move inside to tackle – though he's capable of playing any spot on the defensive line.
"Wherever the coaches need me," he said. "Wherever my team needs me."