The Dallas Cowboys are entering the 2017 season with a key contributor suspended for the fourth-straight year. The NFL suspended defensive end David Irving four games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
So what’s the organization’s plan when it comes to dealing with these incidents? Well, for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, he’s planning to use the Patriots’ methods in how they handled it a season ago.
Tom Brady, Rob Ninkovich and Alan Branch were a few notables slapped with suspensions a season ago.
Irving was not in attendance at the first day of the team’s training camp on Friday, but he ultimately returned. He won’t be eligible to play until Week 5, when the Cowboys take on the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Jason Garrett has been in a tough spot with character issues in the past. Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain are two examples, though the Cowboys cut ties with the former after one season and the latter after two.
Randy Gregory is another case study. Already with baggage entering the 2015 NFL Draft, he’ll be suspended for the entire 2017 season.
Ezekiel Elliott is still waiting as the NFL wraps up an investigation regarding an alleged domestic violence incident.
The Cowboys have all the talent in the world, finishing 13-3 last season with young talent around the roster. The character issues need to be cleaned up while those need to be held accountable.
“Hopefully you’re accountable for your mistakes, you learn from them and you move on,” Garrett told Dallas News.