Cowboys’ Irvin contemplates retirement

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (AP) — Embattled Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin said Wednesday he’s unhappy with his life and is considering retiring from football if he can’t rekindle his love for the game.
“I honestly don’t know exactly what I’m going to do,” said Irvin, his usually boisterous tone sounding lifeless and his wardrobe also dramatically toned down.
“I am not the most talented person in the world. I played my game with intensity and with emotion and that made the difference in my ability to play. Right now, I just don’t have that intensity and emotion about the game. I don’t have that love that I used to have about the game.”
Irvin missed a minicamp in April and hasn’t shown up at Valley Ranch for quarterback camp this week, prompting staunch defender Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith to publicly ask him to decide whether he’s coming back.
“I want to know as soon as possible,” said Irvin, who would forfeit about $5.5 million in salary if he retires. “As soon as I know, they’ll know. I understand what they’re saying, but I don’t think they understand the whole situation.
“I don’t feel I’m any good to myself right now. I would be more of a hindrance than a help.”
Irvin said he told Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in January that he was unhappy in Dallas. He asked Jones to look into a trade, but Jones later told him a deal would be impossible because of salary cap restraints.
“After that, I basically said OK,” Irvin said. “I have never, ever sat there face-to-face with Jerry and said, `I’m demanding a trade.’ … I understand my options.”
The usually high-profile Irvin has tried avoiding the spotlight since former topless dancer Nina Shahravan recanted a rape allegation against him and teammate Erik Williams in January.
“I would hope I could go on and live my life and not answer to everybody all the time about what’s going on, but I know that’s not my reality anymore,” Irvin said.
“What I want to do is get the truth out about everything. I’ve kind of been saying, ‘OK, I’ll move on, maybe it’ll blow over.’ It hasn’t and don’t seem like it ever will.”
Irvin’s life took a turn for the worse about 15 months ago when police raided a motel room and found him and a friend with two topless dancers and drugs.
The receiver later pleaded no contest to a felony cocaine possession charge and is serving 800 hours of community service as part of his probation. He also was fined $10,000 and the NFL suspended him for five games last season.
Irvin said Wednesday he’s still performing the community service, meeting weekly with his probation officer and a psychologist, and undergoing up to five drug tests a week from the NFL. He and wife Sandy also recently had a son — Michael Jerome Irvin, Jr.
“All I really wanted is to go back and find my life,” Irvin said. “I wanted to go back and find that happy man who played the game with the intensity and emotions I had. It’s been truly hard to find.”