A team should only focus on the players that are here and forget about those who cannot help. Anyone who has ever played any sport knows this and teams always try to do best with the players they have.
One of the guys who is missing at the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard is David Irving. However, one player who has had a successful path is Randy Gregory, and he may be the one Irving follows to return to the squad. We are positive that the Cowboys would welcome Irving with open arms.
Gregory is still overcoming two years of the illegal substance-related suspension, and he does well as the pass rusher for the Cowboys. He was a clear talent at the 2015 NFL Draft, but was sidetracked, only to commit himself to return partly because of himself and partly because of the people who cared about him and who are a part of the organization.
“I think they (the Cowboys) believe in me,” Gregory says. “First and foremost, I think they like me as a player and a person. … They realized I was a person in need. And sticking by me through that tough part has worked. I’ve had a lot of support from players, coaches, the Jones family, and even fans.”
Gregory’s case is rough – it took two years of work with the intense six months of effort for the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reinstate him to the league. This is a tough process because everything you worked for collapsed and it takes countless hours to re-educate yourself, accept your position and do something to improve it. Plus, let’s not forget Gregory’s family and his daughter Sophia who turns 2 years in September. He has support from all sides, and even from Hollywood and legendary actor Sir Anthony Hopkins.
David Irving is in the similar situation. He is a young father and he is also “misunderstood” by his family and friends. However, we have to acknowledge the fact that both Gregory and Irving have been the ones who made mistakes as well. With all things considered, taking illegal substances could be a coping mechanism, and somewhere in between those lines, one can find mood issues, learning differences and social problems.
Irving and Gregory are quite talented. And they are facing the same enemy. Even though Irving’s absence is related to the consumption of illegal substances, his rehab is more about working on the psychological and emotional side of his personality. And the same thing was with Gregory.
“David Irving is dealing with off-the-field issues,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said to open camp. “By agreement and by design, he is not here … He is addressing his issues and they are ongoing.”
People who surround Irving, his friends and family say that at this moment, Irving is doing well. It would be a mistake for America’s Team to give up on such a player right now. Are the Cowboys right in taking the out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach? This depends on how everything reflects on David Irving. His teammates have said privately that he is difficult to rely on and despite his talent and multiple ways to contribute to the team, it may be for the best for Dallas franchise to remain “neutral” and focus on the training camp and the challenges at hand.
Some believe, however, that the Cowboys should invest in helping Irving return as quickly as possible, or in other words, “forced” help upon him. This could be a dangerous move and it could easily bounce off.
But the fact is that nobody understands Irving’s situation better than Gregory. One private phone call could be all it takes. Randy Gregory has already made that call.