Dallas Cowboys legend Michael Irvin has a message for the team as the roster is below the 85% COVID vaccine threshold which is the minimum percentage the NFL has set to allow franchises to ease restrictions. Irvin believes this is a signal that the Cowboys are not focused on winning a Super Bowl.
“If you’re not one of them teams [at the threshold], are you really thinking about winning a championship?” Irvin asked, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “You see what I’m saying ‘OK, so now if you’re not getting vaccinated and you got all these other teams that are getting vaccinated.'”
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has declined to discuss his own decision on whether he has been vaccinated and emphasized it is a personal choice for each player. Irvin believes the Cowboys need a player to press their teammates on the issue.
“Somebody in that damn locker room [should say], ‘Hey man, we’re going to have a chance, are you vaccinated?'” Irvin added. “Let’s go through this because this could be a two-week healthy dude missing games, and in this league, this ain’t the NBA. In this league that could be it for you. The right person misses two weeks, that’s it. Your a** is out.”
Jones: ‘We Are Unabashed About Encouraging Everyone to Get the Vaccine’
Prior to the draft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made his feelings on the subject known emphasizing that the organization would be highly encouraging players to get vaccinated. The Cowboys were one of the NFL teams with a fully vaccinated war room during the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones noted that the Cowboys would be “unabashed” in pushing players to get vaccinated.
“Very much. Any chance I get,” Jones noted on April 28, 2021, per Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill. “Seriously, we are unabashed about encouraging everyone to get the vaccine. It certainly will enable us to not have anybody that should become ill that might have become ill. …We’re encouraging in every way that we can. Obviously, we don’t have the ability to say that you do that in order to be with your teammates or with the team or be with the staff at the player level because of our union bargaining. But absent that we really feel strongly that it is in all of our best interests here in April looking ahead to the season that we are pushing hard right now to get everybody vaccinated.”
The Cowboys Are ‘Close to 70%’ Vaccinated: Report
The Cowboys begin training camp practices on Tuesday, July 22 and all indications are the team will not reach the 85% threshold by the time things kick-off. Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins reported “close to 70%” of Cowboys players had been vaccinated heading towards start of training camp.
“Close to 70% of Cowboys players are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus as the team prepares to leave for training camp in Oxnard, Calif., a source said Monday,” Watkins detailed. “The NFL has not made an official announcement, but teams are operating as if some COVID-19 restrictions would be relaxed if they reach the 85% threshold of players fully vaccinated.
“The Cowboys are unlikely to reach the 85% benchmark by their first training camp practice Thursday, the source believes. The team departs for camp Tuesday. Fully vaccinated players don’t have to wear a mask at the team facility or undergo daily testing for the coronavirus. Vaccinated players can travel on team charters to away games, work out in the weight room together and participate in charitable events.”