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Film Room: David Irving Proves Dominant Vs. 49ers

Before the season I wrote an extensive film review on David Irving, the player I expected to be the Cowboys’ best and most dominant defensive lineman in 2017. While there’s no doubt it has actually been defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence who stole that “most dominant” crown, David Irving is having himself an impressive year as well.

Since returning from suspension, Irving has totaled 8 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble. Did I mention he only returned from suspension two games ago?

David Irving has separated himself from the pack of Cowboys’ rotational rushers, and stands alone at the top with Lawrence as players deserving of the majority of defensive snaps. Last Sunday against the 49ers, Irving showed just how great he can be with increased opportunities.

dalvssf david irving sack

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Let’s start with this sack coming in the first half. David Irving has been moved inside permanently by the Cowboys coaching staff. While I still maintain he could be an effective edge rusher in this scheme, he is certainly making due on the inside.

Lined up as the 3-technique, Irving works inside and down an entire gap. Once he matches up with the center, he uses his quick hands to break contact. Once the blocker’s hands are broken off Irving’s body, Irving sheds and begins working upfield.

Defensive end Tyrone Crawford is able to get good pressure on quarterback CJ Beathard, and forces Beathard to exit the pocket. Irving tracks him down with ease, however, and comes away with the huge sack.

dalvssf david irving deflection

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Even when you think you have Irving blocked, he can still find ways to effect the passing game with his length.

David Irving is once again lined up as a 3-technique here. Instead of working inside, however, he goes right at the guard. Irving uses his upper-body strength to execute a push-pull pass rush move, and keep the blocker off balance. Irving then tries to rip through the outside shoulder of the guard.

Beathard is able to get rid of the ball before Irving gets to him, but Irving gets his hand up and bats the ball away. Irving already has multiple pass deflections this season, and should come away with more as the year goes on. It’s incredibly difficult for interior linemen to deal with the length which Irving possesses, especially when combined with his athletic ability.

dalvssf david irving run d

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David Irving was also able to make an impact against the run on Sunday. On this play he is lined up in a 4i. The left tackle is tasked with cutting off and reaching Irving, a tough block for any tackle against any defensive lineman.

Let alone against David Irving last Sunday.

Irving keeps him on his back hip and rips down the line of scrimmage, tripping up the running back and stopping what could’ve been a good gain for the 49ers. Irving’s get-off, speed, athleticism, and power make him an absolute problem on the inside.

Though his problem in 2016 was consistency, David Irving has strung together two straight impressive performances to begin his season. Let’s hope this streak continues, and he has found his dominant ways.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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