It can easily be said for many NFL players and hopefuls that they can’t catch a break, but not David Irving. The 27-year-old has been granted plenty of opportunities to live up to his freakishly athletic potential, but he can’t ever stick the landing. The former Dallas Cowboys pass rusher signed on with the Las Vegas Raiders in October 2020, after having been reinstated from an indefinite suspension, but couldn’t carve his way onto the field for more than 40 defensive snaps and delivered zero sacks. He’d re-sign with the Raiders this past February, but he’s now been released roughly three months later — the team announced on Friday.
This makes Irving’s initial comments regarding the re-signing completely moot.
“It was inconceivable a year ago to many people that I’d be in a position to sign with the Raiders,” he wrote, via Twitter. “Big thanks to Coach [Rod] Marinelli for always having my back, and Coach [Jon] Gruden for believing in me.”
It’s been reported Irving simply wasn’t a good fit in Las Vegas, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic, despite the presence of Marinelli — who spent several seasons attempting to coach up Irving in Dallas.
Prior to joining the Raiders in 2020, Irving began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent of the Kansas City Chiefs who was poached as a rookie from the team’s practice squad by the Cowboys. He’d go on to spend four years in Dallas in what can only be described as an exercise in futility for the organization. His flashes on the field provided justification for the coaching staff and front office overlooking off-the-field incidences — e.g., being late to or missing meetings completely, etc. — many of which were fueled by a combination of his disdain for Jason Garrett and his own underlying admission he believed Garrett was jealous because of his ability to roll out of bed with little to no practice and get sacks.
The toxicity in the relationship eventually boiled over to the point of Irving hinting strongly at racial motivations as to why Garrett allegedly clashed with him, a rumor that was roundly dismissed by Cowboys players and personnel alike. His off-the-field issues eventually manifested into a four-game suspension in 2018 and the aforementioned indefinite suspension in 2019, the latter followed by Irving taking to Instagram Live to announce he was quitting football because of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
The relationship between he and the Cowboys effectively ended just ahead of that incident seeing as they had no intention of re-signing him in free agency but, long after its conclusion, he’s never avoided a chance to throw dynamite in their direction.
“I hated going to work for the Cowboys,” Irving said, via The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “A Cowboy is all hardy har har and all this America’s Team stuff. I belong in Las Vegas with the Raiders. You’ve got some real people here who can appreciate a unique specimen like myself.”
That supposed appreciation ran out rather quickly, as the Raiders move on to others they have more belief in.