Off-field troubles didn't diminish ex-Dallas Cowboy Irvin's leadership

It seems some of you didn't think Michael Irvin was a leader because of his numerous off-the-field transgressions.

You're completely missing the point.

None of the stuff he did off the field affected his ability to lead in the locker room and be an influence that helped his team win game after game after game in the '90s.

Only when his issues resulted in a five-game suspension to start the 1996 season did he harm the team on the field.

Talk to any of his teammates and they'll tell you Irvin was a dynamic leader in the locker room because no one practiced harder than he did. No one worked out harder in the off-season.

No one demanded more than Irvin did from himself.

And as I wrote last week, he had the rare ability to talk to every player in the locker room no matter that person's background. He also built relationships with his teammates that allowed him to demand they give him their best in the fourth quarter, when the game was on the line – and they did.

We know Irvin wasn't perfect off the field. None of us are. But he was as good as it got in the locker room.