Cowboys DT Irving suspended again

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving (95), shown sacking Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers last season, has been suspended for the first four games of the season for a second straight year.Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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Defensive tackle David Irving of the Dallas Cowboys was suspended on Friday for the first four games of the NFL season for the second consecutive year.

The NFL announced the four-game ban for Irving, this time for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Last year, Irving missed the first four games for misuse of performance-enhancing substances.

Irving will be allowed participate in all activities before the start of the season, including preseason games, and will be eligible to return to the Cowboys on Oct. 1.

The first game he would be eligible for is on Oct. 7 at Houston.

Irving will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season. As a restricted free agent this spring, Irving signed a one-year, $2.91 million deal to remain with the Cowboys.

Irving has been a sporadic participant in the Cowboys’ strength and conditioning program during the offseason and didn’t practice in all organized team activities, but was on hand for all three mandatory minicamp practices.

On Thursday, Irving talked in great length with reporters about some of his off-the-field issues, including a custody battle with his ex-girlfriend, who made domestic violence claims against him in April, but later retracted her statements.