Over the last couple of weeks, Dallas Cowboys fans have been sent into a mini-frenzy. All-Pro defensive end Demarcus Lawrence heads for free agency, and a likely franchise tag. Fellow defensive lineman David Irving faces his own contract uncertainty. Set to be a restricted free agent, the Cowboys can match any offer that Irving may receive in free agency. However, there has been talk of Irving not being a long-term goal for the team. However, here’s why the team will prioritize extending David Irving:
Dominant Pass Rushers Don’t Grow on Trees:
This one should be obvious for the team. After struggling to rush the passer the last few seasons, following the departure of future Hall-of-Famer Demarcus Ware, the Dallas Cowboys found their new rushmen in 2017. After flashing in games against Green Bay and Tampa Bay in 2016, Irving took his play to another level in 2017. Despite missing 8 games to injury and suspension, Irving recorded 7 sacks and 6 pass deflections. As the graphic, courtesy of Louis Bing details below, Irving’s play surpassed the top-paid lineman in football last season.
What David Irving did in 8 games this season compared to what the 10 highest paid 4-3 DT's in the NFL did for the entire season. pic.twitter.com/wITVqbapVJ
— Louis Bing (@LouisBing52) January 29, 2018
Despite missing time due to suspension and injury, Irving showed why he is a special talent in the NFL. The team should be able to compromise and offer some long-term security, in exchange for a dominant pas rusher in his (freakish) athletic prime.
Irving’s play, along with the performance of Demarcus Lawrence, should have the team excited for the defense going forward. Their next step needs to be making sure that they keep their star pass rushers in Big D. If the team gets Irving’s level of play all season, combined with the impressive play of Lawrence, the Dallas Cowboys could be primed for a rebound season in 2018.
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