DALLAS – Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving has received no formal disciplinary letter or complaint from the NFL regarding a recent violation of the league’s drug policies, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
A report by 247Sports on Friday stated Irving missed “multiple” mandatory drug tests in the last two months.
Per NFL policy, failure to appear for mandatory drug testing can be disciplined at first with fines and then via a four-game suspension without pay.
The NFL and Irving’s attorney Daniel Moskowitz each declined comment when reached Friday afternoon.
Irving and the Cowboys did not respond to USA TODAY Sports’ requests for comment Friday morning. The team was traveling to Los Angeles on Friday for a Saturday night divisional-round playoff game against the Rams in the Coliseum.
Irving, whom the team has listed on the injury report with a high-ankle sprain, has already been ruled out for the game. He last played Oct. 21.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has continued to say he considers Irving’s situation day by day, noting there are several factors involved.
Irving missed the first four games of the season due to a suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Players who violate the league’s policy then enter their substance-abuse program, which includes mandatory drug tests at the NFL medical director’s discretion.
Irving hasn’t played since Oct. 21 while dealing with the ankle injury and personal issues, including a custody battle involving his daughter.
But his attendance at the Cowboys facility for meetings and practices has been inconsistent. The 6-7, 290-pound defensive tackle has played in just two games this season. He recorded a sack, four tackles and two quarterback hits in 56 defensive snaps.
Cowboys free-agent signee Antwan Woods has started all but one game at defensive tackle without Irving on the field. Woods, who was the Cowboys’ fourth-string nose tackle in May, has helped anchor the Cowboys’ top-5 run defense.
Last season, Irving was suspended the first four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and the last four while battling concussion symptoms. During eight games in between: Irving exploded for seven sacks (10 quarterback hits total) and 22 tackles, deflecting six passes including some that set up teammates for interceptions.
It’s that game-changing effect that has motivated the Cowboys to carry the disruptor with a 7-3 wingspan on their 53-man roster despite off-field issues that have limited him to 10 games in two seasons.
The Cowboys placed a second-round tender on Irving in April, ultimately signing him to a 1-year, $2.914 million deal.
He faced allegations of domestic violence that month when his then-girlfriend Angela Sanchez hacking his Twitter account to share accusations. She recanted them the same day.
Irving missed offseason practices while working to get back in shape and caring for his daughter. Irving didn’t join the Cowboys at training camp in Oxnard, California, though his suspension terms permitted his attendance.
“Everyone questions my commitment and this and that,” Irving said in June at OTAs. “But I don’t know, when I’m on the field I really don’t get too much questioning.”