Cowboys defensive end David Irving has officially been suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season after violating the league’s PED policy, the NFL announced today.
News that Irving had reportedly failed a drug test broke last month, but it was unclear what length of time Irving would be forced to miss. A positive test for a diuretic or masking agent without a banned substance detected calls for a two-game ban, while a positive result for an anabolic agent, however, would mean a four-game suspension. Despite indications that Irving may have been able to fight a four-game ban, the NFL has decided to give him the lengthier punishment.
Irving, 23, appeared in 15 games for Dallas last season and developed into a serviceable pass rusher, especially near the end of the year. All told, he managed four sacks and 17 tackles while grading as the league’s No. 29 interior defender, per Pro Football Focus. Now, Irving’s 500+ defensive snaps are likely to go other defenders — such as first-round pick Taco Charlton — for the first quarter of the season.
Given that he’s set to earn $615K next year, Irving will lose roughly $145K in base salary as a result of this suspension. He’ll be allowed to participate in all Cowboys offseason activities and preseason games.