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Michael Irvin: Cowboys need to find some will after losing so much skill

Mike Florio and Charean Williams answer viewer questions about the Cowboys’ ability to attract a top coach, the impact of diversity standards on the Broncos ownership sale and more.

The Cowboys obviously are not as talented as they were in 2021. They lost defensive end Randy Gregory to the Broncos and receiver Cedrick Wilson to the Dolphins; they traded receiver Amari Cooper to the Browns; and they waived offensive lineman La’el Collins.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defended the team’s moves (or mostly lack thereof) by pointing out that this time last year they hadn’t drafted linebacker Micah Parsons, who went on to win defensive rookie of the year unanimously and earn All-Pro honors.

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin sees a way the Cowboys can improve in 2022.

“They have lost talent. They are not a better team talent-wise,” Irvin said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “This game doesn’t require skill. It requires will. If a team loses a little bit of skill but gains greater will, they call still do great things. If the Cowboys can take the disappointment of that defeat against San Francisco -- beating you at home -- if they can take that and internalize it in the offseason and come with less skill and more will and have a better season.”

Irvin hopes the players hurt as much as former players and fans hurt after the Cowboys’ upset loss to the 49ers in the wild card round. The Cowboys were the only home team to lose in the first round.

“They are not as skilled as they were last year,” Irvin said. “When you lack skill, you have to overcome it with will and togetherness. A man’s greatest promise comes from their greatest pain. If they felt the pain like we felt and like those fans -- I want to see them jokers on the field cry like that. I want it to hurt them like that.

“But I haven’t seen that. I hope they cry like karate men, on the inside. But I haven’t seen it outside.”