It's a huge year for Dallas Cowboys' Defensive Tackle David Irving. After two good seasons in which he showed the world what he was capable of, Irving will play the 2018 NFL season under a second-round tender given to him by the Cowboys' front office.
A decision that made Cowboys Nation afraid of another NFL team snatching Irving away seems to have paid off for the team. However, concerns surround the young player who's had to deal with a domestic violence investigation (which has been closed) and who's allegedly "out of shape."
Dominant interior defenders.
While offseason concerns are present, let's give credit where credit is due. Pro Football Focus recently tweeted its Top 5 interior defenders by "pass rush productivity."
Among said Top 5 is Cowboys' DT David Irving. Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins stand as the only two better linemen on the list with Cam Heyward and David Irving tied for third. Matt Idannidis occupies the fifth spot.
According to PFF, pass rush productivity "measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting toward sacks." Irving was able to rack up seven sacks in just eight games last season but his contributions to the Dallas Cowboys defense went beyond this simple stat.
Splash Plays per snap - via @notJDaigle
Bob Sturm was able to put together a pretty interesting stat back in February which perfectly portrayed Irving's ability to disrupt as a defender. According to the "Splash Plays" stat, Irving was the second best defender on the Cowboys, despite being suspended for the first four games of the season.
It's more than clear that the team counts with one of the best talents at his position in the entire league. Right now, the question is: can he take the next step?
A good, productive year by Irving would undoubtedly result in a juicy contract for him, if not from the Cowboys, from other team. However, it's about time David Irving realizes where he's at in his career.
It's disappointing to hear that he's not practicing because he's "not in shape." It really is. Irving could earn himself the contract of a lifetime if he's willing to give his very best effort on the field. Sure, it's just the OTAs right now. But Irving is far from a proven veteran who can afford to miss offseason practices.
Perhaps this explains why no team in the NFL was willing to give up a second-round pick for Irving. The talent is clearly there. One has to wonder about Irving's commitment and work ethic.
As for the Cowboys defense, hopes remain that Irving will be one of the most important pieces next season. With him and Lawrence on the defensive line, the Cowboys can win the battle in the trenches both from the offense and from the defense week after week.
The defensive line will be one of the team's deepest and one that will have success under the leadership of Lawrence, Crawford and Irving.
However, Irving's time to step up doesn't being in September. It begins now. Once he gets back into shape, it's time for him to start grinding and start working on getting his next big payday.
The Cowboys want to make a Super Bowl run in 2018. They need a capable defense. With Irving and Lawrence playing lights out like they did last year, they're certainly closer to their ultimate goal.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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