FRISCO - There is no more passionate member of the Dallas Cowboys family than Michael Irvin, and the Hall-of-Famer is livid about what he perceives as a lack of passion on the part of today's locker room on the subject of COVID-19 vaccination - and a lack of knowledge on the part of vocal anti-vaxxer Cole Beasley.
“How bad do you want to win a Super Bowl?'' Irvin tells CowboysSI.com on his message to Cowboys players. "F- the politics. F your conspiracy theories. How bad? And if you think this is 'just a job,' you got it all wrong.
"If you think this is just a job, you will never, ever, ever win the Super Bowl.''
The Cowboys are among the NFL teams that have yet to reach the 85-percent threshold of vaccinated players, which gives a team an advantage in terms of fewer restrictions on team meetings and practices.
"You can have your beliefs, your fears, your conspiracy theories,'' Irvin says. "But if you are an NFL player, you are about to go into hand-to-hand combat and you are about to look into another man's soul - and he's looking into yours. The person, and his team, that finds a 'one-ness'? That's your winner.
“Which NFL team has the one-ness to find a way? Which NFL team is willing to test the depth of its hunger?''
The Super Bowl - three of which he won during his time in Dallas - is Irvin's focus here. His point is that great teams have a "whatever-it-takes'' attitude, and he's bothered that the 2021 Cowboys do not seem to be exhibiting that.
Irvin, by the way, recently visited Miami in part to see an old friend who has been combating COVID for eight months. So the medical side of the issue is a serious one to him.
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But to Michael Irvin, few things are more serious than competing.
A source suggests to CowboysSI.com that the Cowboys, who report to training camp in Oxnard on Tuesday, may be inching toward meeting the player COVID-19 vaccination threshold. So maybe this can be a non-issue. But that won't keep Irvin - himself was one of the greatest locker-room leaders in NFL history - from questioning the want-to of his beloved Cowboys, or the wisdom of Beasley, the former Dallas player now in Buffalo who has been very vocal about his opposition to the vaccine.
"In Dallas,'' Irvin said of a Cowboys team he believes is a Super Bowl contender, "every single thing ought to be about winning a championship, and if you’re not one of the (vaccinated) teams are you really thinking about winning a championship?”
And what would Irvin say to Beasley?
"If Beas was on my team, I'd tell him, 'You can have your beliefs, buddy.' But I'd make him quit spewing those beliefs onto our other teammates, because I'm trying to get 85 percent of them vaccinated so we can go win a Super Bowl.''
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