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Mailbag: David Irving’s Status; Covering TEs

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What's the deal with David Irving? Haven't heard much about him lately. Would be nice to have him back in the lineup against the Saints this coming week. I know he hasn't played much in the last 2 years, but with how much of a powerhouse he is on that D-line, why not sign him to another 1-year friendly contract to continue wreaking havoc with D-Law next year? - SHAUN KING / TUCSON, AZ

Rob: It’s been about three and a half weeks since Irving got injured. He’s been getting treatment, but there doesn’t appear to be a clear return date. High ankle sprains are tricky. If there’s ever a game the Cowboys need his size affecting the pocket, this would be it. As for next year, that’s really tough to gauge. Irving is as talented as any player on the roster, in my opinion. But, while some things have been out of his control, availability has been an issue.

Bryan:I don’t know the situation with David Irving, nor are they telling us the situation with him. I personally would allow him to walk without a fight. You need players that you can rely on. He’s not one of those guys.

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It seems that at times Dallas has trouble covering opposing team's tight ends. Is this because of zone coverage? - VINCENT VINCI / LAURENCE HARBOR, NJ

Rob: Tight ends have hit them for big plays at times in the last three games. I think to some extent you have to credit the opposition. Zach Ertz is a great player for Philly. Jordan Reed is Washington’s best option in the passing game right now. It’s a reminder of how good Byron Jones was at covering tight ends the last two or three years. I thought they did a better job this year containing Hooper for Atlanta.

Bryan: Played some really good tight ends the last three weeks and at times during the season. Byron Jones had been outstanding in that role the past several years, so they’re missing that. Jeff Heath has matched up well at times, but with the way these tight ends play nowadays, you almost need a big cornerback that has the ability to handle their size but also the athletic ability to stay with them in space, and that’s what they’ve lacked.

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