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David Irving: Jason Garrett is awkward around black players

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 13: Quarterback Sean Mannion #14 of the Los Angeles Rams is hit as he throws a pass by defensive end David Irving #95 of the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Coliseum during preseason on August 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. The Rams won 28-24. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Former Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for repeated failed drug tests and says he will not play again unless the league allows players to use marijuana, thinks he clashed with coach Jason Garrett in part because of the color of his skin.

Irving said on CBS Sports Radio that he thinks Garrett is awkward and uncomfortable around black players.

“Jason Garrett and I have never really gotten along,” Irving said, via Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram. “To be honest with you, not many people get along with this man. I wish I could put a finger on [why]. I really do. I don’t think it’s just one reason. It’s not just one person that can’t get along with him. It’s a lot of people. If I can say anything, I feel like he needs to be more comfortable with people of color, to be honest with you. This is a league where there’s a lot of people of color around, and you’re going to have to deal with us. If you don’t know how to talk to us or relate to us, I don’t know. It’s a tough position. . . . I think it’s a little uncomfortable for him. Not to say the man’s racist. He’s definitely not racist. Do not get me wrong. It’s just maybe he’s socially awkward.”

That’s the first time we’ve heard such an allegation about Garrett, who has been the Cowboys’ head coach since 2010, was an NFL assistant for six years before that, and was an NFL player for more than a decade. If Garrett really had a problem getting along with black players, it seems unlikely that the problem would first come up three decades after he first got into the NFL.

Irving and Garrett have clashed, but there’s little reason to believe the issues between them are racial.