The Dallas Cowboys will be without their best pass rusher for the first quarter of the upcoming season.

David Irving has been suspended for the first four games of 2017 for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the Cowboys announced Wednesday.


NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on May 23 that Irving’s suspension stemmed from a supplement produced by a company with which the defender had a marketing deal. Irving’s appeal of the suspension was denied, making the ban official on Wednesday.

Irving emerged late in the 2016 season as a forceful presence off the edge for a Cowboys defense that sorely lacked a reliable pass rusher. The defensive lineman recorded four sacks on the season, with three coming in Weeks 15 and 16, and showed plenty of unexpected promise heading into 2017.

His development will now be put on hold at the beginning of the upcoming season, potentially opening the door for rookie Taco Charlton to get quickly acclimated with the pro game.

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