Throughout his Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys, star wide receiver Michael Irvin didn’t exactly have the smoothest life off the field. There are numerous stories around him concerning drug usage and sexual assault charges that came about during his tenure in the NFL. That time of Irvin‘s life was full of jaw-dropping moments, which one of those incidents includes him stabbing one of his Cowboys teammates in the neck with a pair of scissors.
Michael Irvin’s illustrious NFL career
On the field, Irvin had put together a remarkable career as he was a critical piece to the Cowboys’ success during the 1990s.
During his 12-year stint in the league all spent in Dallas, he was part of three Super Bowl-winning teams, selected to the Pro Bowl five times, two Second-Team All-Pro nods, and received one First-Team All-Pro selection. That saw him surpass 1,000 receiving yards seven times, and more than 70 receptions seven times.
However, he saw his playing days prematurely ended after he suffered a cervical spinal cord injury in the fifth game of the 1999 season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Irvin had guided his way to second all-time in franchise history with 64 receiving touchdowns, and first with 11,904 receiving yards.
Meanwhile, his 47 games with at least 100 receiving yards are eighth-most in NFL history. Irvin also finished his career second all-time in playoff history trailing only Jerry Rice in several categories with six 100-receiving yard performances, 87 receptions, and 1,315 receiving yards.
Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate over a haircut
Irvin made many questionable decisions over his career off the field that could have easily abruptly ended his playing days in the NFL.
One of those such incidents occurred in 1998 when the Cowboys were in training camp at Midwestern State University in Wichita Fallas, Texas. Fifth-year Offensive lineman Everett McIver was in the barber’s chair already getting a haircut when Irvin came into the barbershop looking to get a haircut.
It didn’t take long for things to head south as Irvin began yelling at McIver that he had the seniority to get his haircut first. That led to McIver to sit firm with getting his hair cut to which he shoved Irvin, and the two exchanged blows before the star wideout stuck scissors into his neck, according to TheVersed.com.
“Seniority!” Irvin yelled. Not once, but four times. “Punk get the f*ck out of my chair!”
Now, McIver had been in the league five years at that point, so he felt he’d paid his dues. “You’re no f**kin’ rookie. He can’t tell you what to do,” another lineman chirped in McIver’s ear.
“Damn right!” McIver said (or at least thought). He got up from the chair and shoved No. 88. The two came to blows and Irvin reached for a pair of scissors. Fortunately, it wasn’t a straight blade. Irvin plunged the shears into McIver’s neck, missing his carotid artery by inches.
What made this situation even more ridiculous was that Irvin was probation after he was caught with cocaine. Any charges that would have been pressed against him would have landed him in prison. However, McIver never went that route in a situation that would have turned quite lethal.
Team owner Jerry Jones got involved in the manner, which he got the two to agree to a reported six-figure amount for the star wideout to hand over to McIver. Jones later went on to describe the entire incident as being “horseplay” between them.
Michael Irvin benefitted from playing in a different era
Irvin was a phenomenal talent on the field throughout his 12-year career, but there were some serious issues off the field that could have easily derailed that.
He benefited from being in a spot where ownership helped him out of tight situations, and the league’s drug policy wasn’t as stiff as it has become over the last decade. If this was a situation that occurred now in the NFL, it’s hard to imagine that Irvin would still be allowed to play.
Yes, Irvin was an extremely talented player, but his behavior and decision making off the field could have easily ended his football career in several instances.