FRISCO, Texas – David Irving only had time for a brief comment to reporters as he exited the locker room for a meeting.
“I had a lot of stuff going on in the offseason, as you all know,” the defensive lineman said after returning to practice at Tuesday’s minicamp. “I’m working through it as best as I can and put it behind me and focus on the season.”
The 10-second statement was actually fitting. Irving knows actions, not words, are more important moving forward.
The fourth-year pro has been a sporadic participant in the Cowboys’ voluntary offseason program and missed recent OTA workouts. The Cowboys have said Irving is working on getting in shape and handling personal matters.
In April, reports surfaced that a woman claiming to be Irving’s girlfriend accused the defensive lineman of domestic violence via social media. The woman subsequently retracted her allegations in a statement.
This week’s minicamp is the only mandatory part of the offseason program. Irving worked on the side during Tuesday’s practice.
When healthy, Irving has shown the ability to dominate at times. He posted seven sacks in only eight games last season, missing the first four due to suspension and the last four with a concussion.
“He’s a heck of a player,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “He’s a terrific pass rusher and you better account for him. He’s another guy inside that can make things go for us.
“I’ve seen him here and talked to him. I think things are moving along good. Just happy to see him.”
The Cowboys did not sign Irving to a long-term extension this offseason, but they did give him the second-round level restricted tender worth $2.91 million.
With only one year left on his contract, 2018 is a big season for Irving’s future – and his teammates know how important he is to the defense.
“It’s good to have him out here,” linebacker and defensive captain Sean Lee said. “He needs to be here working. The more he’s here, the better it is for us. Shared sacrifice, all of us working together as a team is a big deal for all of us.”