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David Irving standing out for right reasons for Cowboys

From ESPN - November 15, 2017

FRISCO, Texas -- David Irving ca not hide.

At 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, he stands out among the rest of his Dallas Cowboys teammates. Some of it is his own doing.

He has a bleached stripe of hair. He has a nipple ring, which he lost in training camp this summer during one practice. After the Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins two weeks ago, he walked out of FedEx Field with a fox (scarf) named Chester wrapped around his neck to keep him warm.

He draws attention each week for raising a fist at the end of the national anthem, which is something he has done in the five games he has played this season. He is careful not to cross the line Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have set in not disrespecting the anthem and American flag.

Irving never thought he would receive this kind of attention, on or off the field.

"I look back all the time," Irving said. "It's crazy. All the time. I never thought I'd be in the NFL, regardless, once I left Iowa State. It's been crazy, man. It's changed my life."

Irving was kicked out of Iowa State before his senior season after he was charged with disorderly conduct, fifth-degree theft and criminal mischief in the second degree. He was caught on camera carrying a stop sign.

He was not invited to the combine. He had his pro day at his high school in San Jacinto, California. Only one team called him after the draft. The Kansas City Chiefs signed him as an undrafted free agent, liking what they saw more than what they knew.

Irving was among their final cuts but signed to the practice squad. The Cowboys signed him off the Kansas City practice squad on Sept. 29, 2015.

"I had literally just saved enough money to get furniture moved into my apartment," Irving said. "The next day I had to leave. Broke the lease, left the furniture. Just had to go. It was a crazy experience. Came here, I think it was a Tuesday, went into meetings not really knowing anybody, not knowing what they expected out of me, and the next day we are in full pads. It's worked out."

One day early in the 2015 season, a member of the Cowboys' scouting department walked into Rod Marinelli's office and told him he had forwarded him a tape of Irving to watch.

Marinelli knew nothing about Irving. He never saw him in the draft preparation that spring. He never saw his tape over the summer after Irving joined the Chiefs.

"Hey, here's this big, tall guy," Marinelli remembered being told. "This is where he's from. He can bend."

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