The Dallas Cowboys will begin another year with defensive tackle David Irving on the suspended list.
Irving has violated the NFL's substance-abuse policy, a league spokesman announced, and will serve a four-game suspension to open the season.
It marks the second consecutive season Irving is on the suspended list to start the season. He missed the first four games last season for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy.
Barring Irving winning an appeal, he won't be eligible to return until the Oct. 7 game at Houston. He is eligible to participate in training camp and preseason games before the regular-season opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.
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This has been a trend for the Cowboys' defensive players of late. They've had at least one starter suspended to start the season in each of the last four years.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Orlando Scandrick, Rolando McClain, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory also have served suspensions since 2015.
Irving's absence leaves a hole in the Cowboys' D-line. This is a guy who had seven sacks in eight games last season.
When Irving wasn't available because of suspension or injury last season, the Cowboys used Maliek Collins in the under tackle spot. The Cowboys also acquired Jihad Ward during this year's NFL draft.
Irving, who signed a one-year, $2.91 million tender as a restricted free agent this offseason, is coming off a season in which he was credited with 12 tackles, seven sacks, three tackles for loss, 19 QB pressures and six passes defensed.
The seven sacks were second-most on the team even though Irving played in just eight games (suspended the first four and missed the last four with a concussion).