FRISCO, Texas - As expected, defensive end David Irving will serve a four-game suspension to begin the 2017 regular-season schedule.
The NFL issued a statement on Wednesday for Irving's violation of the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.
Irving will be eligible to return to the Cowboys' roster on Oct. 8 when the team hosts the Green Bay at AT&T Stadium. He will miss the opener against the NY Giants, followed by road games to Denver and Arizona and a home game with the Rams. Irving can return to The Star on Monday, Oct. 2.
The defensive end will be able to participate in all of training and play in the five preseason games.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys are no stranger to dealing with suspended players to begin a season. Since 2014, the defense has opened the schedule without Orlando Scandrick, Rolando McClain, Greg Hardy, Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence – all due to suspensions.
With Irving out for the first month, the Cowboys will still have plenty of options. They drafted Taco Charlton in the first round to go along with returning vets Benson Mayowa and Lawrence. The Cowboys signed Damontre' Moore in the offseason and will get Charles Tapper back from a back injury that sidelined him all of last year. The Cowboys can also move Tyrone Crawford back to an end if needed although it appears he will begin camp back at tackle.
The Cowboys are still expecting big things from Irving in 2017. Last year, he had some breakout performances, including the Green Bay game at Lambeau Field, where he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week by forcing three fumbles. He also recoded three sacks in a two-game stretch against Detroit and Tampa Bay. Irving led the Cowboys in quarterback pressures last year with 26.