Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin was one of the most hated men in Philadelphia during his playing days. Now Irvin has taken his loud-mouth routine to NFL Network where he serves as a football analyst. He recently offered some surprising opinions on the Eagles’ offense.
Irvin, who spent 12 seasons in Dallas, commented that he expected Carson Wentz to regain his “MVP form” from a few years ago while leading a potent “air raid” attack style of offense in Philadelphia. Irvin pointed to the addition of DeSean Jackson as a big reason why and cited the speedy receiver’s ability to stretch the field. He also claimed the team’s proposed use of a backfield-by-committee may help them in the long run.
“Similar to what Tyreek Hill does in Kansas City, he [Jackson] stretches the defense,” Irvin said on NFL Network. “I expect Alshon Jeffery to have a better year now that he that real person stretching that defense and he can take off to the intermediate areas of the field. I look for Carson Wentz to get back to that MVP form that he had a few years ago.”
Wentz was taking hand-offs and lining up as a running back during Eagles practice right in the middle of Irvin’s sentence, and he made sure to make a mention of that and the way the Eagles run the ball. Of course, the Hall of Famer had to get a Cowboys reference in.
“They have a couple of guys at that position, not one bellcow, like we’re talking about what the Cowboys did with Ezekiel Elliott — you know, a couple of years ago it was LaGarrette Blount and then Jay Ajayi comes in … trust me, they’ll find a great runner,” Irvin said. “It won’t be No. 11. He [Wentz] will run, just won’t be a running back. He will run now and make plays with his legs. But they’re going to count on his arm and I believe they will be an air raid this year.”
Irvin Picking Cowboys to Win Super Bowl
Once a Cowboys, always a Cowboy — or something like that. Despite heaping praise on the Eagles’ offense, Irvin stuck by his former team as his prohibitive favorite to win the Super Bowl. He fiercely battled ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith over the Ezekiel Elliott holdout, adamantly defending the running back’s entitlement to a new contract. Irvin believes Dallas needs Elliott in the fold to get to Miami and hoist that Lombardi Trophy. However, he seems to feel like owner Jerry Jones will come to his senses and get that deal done.
Zeke is worth more to the Dallas Cowboys,” Irvin said. “The Dallas Cowboys will get nowhere without Zeke. All Zeke has done is come in and run the football and lead them to NFC East championships two out of the three years. I am on Zeke’s side because I love the star above all.”
Eagles Fans Hate Michael Irvin
No shocker here. Eagles fans have long loathed Michael Irvin going back to his playing days. On December 10, 1998, they infamously booed the Cowboys receiver as his body lay motionless at old Veterans Stadium.
Late in the first quarter, Irvin caught a short pass from Troy Aikman and landed awkwardly after jarring hits from Tim Hauck and Bobby Taylor twisted his neck. He suffered a spinal cord injury and never played again, and the Eagles faithful cheered as Irvin was carted away on a stretcher.
NBC Sports Philadelphia recounted the true story, with a little more context.
However, what those fans likely (hopefully) failed to realize was that the injury didn’t just end Irvin’s game, it ended his career, #88 sustained a spinal cord injury that meant he never played another second in the National Football League. Needless to say, the Vet faithful caught some heat for their rejoicing in their rival’s ruin. “”It disgusted me to death,” said teammate Emmitt Smith. ” This is just a game. Life, paralyzation and death are a reality. Sport is sport.” Even the Birds themselves came down hard. “I know our fans pride themselves on being tough, but that wasn’t tough,” said receiver Charles Johnson. “”That was just plain ignorant.”
Irvin still gets booed today in Philadelphia anytime he comes to town for a broadcast. What do they say? Once a Cowboy, always a Cowboy.