David Irving Has Some Explosive Things to Say About Jason Garrett and the Rampant Use of Weed in the NFL

April 03, 2019 - 7:09 pm

(CBS Sports Radio) In his first radio interview since retiring, former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving opened up about his quest to change the NFL's stance on medicinal marijuana and his rift with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.

Irving, 25, was suspended indefinitely in March for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He missed four games for violating that policy in 2018 and four games in 2017 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Irving said he uses marijuana to manage pain. The NFL does not allow that, which prompted Irving to call it a career.

"On the surface, it looks like an NFL problem, but honestly, it's an NFLPA problem," Irving said on "Tiki & Tierney" on Tuesday. "The truth is, we've accepted these terms over the years. I don't understand how, I don't understand why, but we have -- and now we're in this position where we want change and we're mad at the NFL (when) it was our fault to begin with."

Irving, who went undrafted in 2015, played for the Cowboys for four years. He said he believes NFL players must band together and fight for the right to use medical marijuana.

"Eighty percent of each team participates in the use of medical marijuana -- if not higher," Irving said. "If I'm a player rep for my team and we take all the player reps from every team and we get all our players together and go do something together, what is the NFL going to do? We are the NFL. I think it's time we start acting like it. You do not have jersey sales without us players. You just don't. Why are we settling? We make the least amount of money. Nothing is guaranteed. It's literally our jobs to get concussions every single day. We're going to get hurt, and then they offer us opioids. I don't agree with that."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, it is worth noting, is apparently in Irving's corner.

"It's funny. Jerry actually stated his opinion openly: He's with me," Irving said. "Obviously his hands are tied. He can't do certain things he would like to do, but Jerry is a great man. We've always had a great rapport. I loved playing for that man. Honestly, if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be on the phone talking, speaking with you guys. He's helped me with a lot of things he didn't have to help me with. That man believes in me. I want to give a shout-out to Jerry. He's like-minded. He agrees with me, he understands what it is, and he's pushing for what I'm pushing for."

Irving said Garrett was not as supportive.

“I came in after I was able to walk again from my ankle injury I had back in October, and I went into my meeting rooms like normal,” Irving said on "The DA Show" on Wednesday morning. "He called me out, called me in his room,  asked me what the hell am I thinking. And I’m just confused. I don’t know what he’s talking about. He was like, ‘You should just quit. We don’t need you. We don’t need you here. You’re not helping our team at all. You’re a distraction.’ He said, ‘You’ve been missing drug tests, haven’t you?’ I was like, ‘Yes, sir.’ He was like, ‘Well, why don’t you just quit? We don’t need you anyways. You can go be an actor. You do acting, right? They don’t drug test there. Just get out of here.’ He told me don’t come back to the facility. Just get my treatment and go home.”

Irving said he believes Garrett has problems relating to players of color.

“It’s not just one person that doesn’t get along with him. It’s a lot of people,” Irving said. "I feel like he needs to be more comfortable with people of color, to be honest with you. This is a league where there’s a lot of people of color around, and you’re going to have to deal with us. If you don’t know how to talk to us or relate to us – we just never got along. He’s the only person I haven’t gotten along with in pretty much all my career in football.

“I think it’s a little uncomfortable for him," Irving continued. "Not to say the man’s racist. He’s definitely not racist. Do not get me wrong. It’s just maybe he’s socially awkward. And me personally, I know he has a problem with me because I don’t necessarily work as hard as he thinks I should work to be as good as I am at football. I feel like Jason is one of those guys where, growing up in football, he was always the second-hand man or the third-string guy, and I feel like he had to work his a-s-s off to even be able to step on the field with some of these guys. Me, I could roll out of bed with a hangover and go outperform anybody. I don’t think he liked that.”

Irving said he might try to return to the NFL if the league changes its stance on marijuana.

"That's something to think about," he said. "It does all depend. That will take away a lot of issues that we're having - I would say I, but we're having. The medical laws, they are not what they should be. . . . Everyone has their own mindset and own opinion, but if things change, who knows? I can't tell you at this point."

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