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Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps one of the most talented wide receivers to play professional football, Michael Irvin helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships in the early- to mid-1990s on his way to becoming a five-time Pro Bowler. Born on March 5, 1966 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Irvin was a star player at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. After graduation, he was lured to the University of Miami, where he broke school records in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions while helping the Hurricanes become national champions in 1987. He entered the National Football League draft the following year and was selected in the first round by the Cowboys. Despite a solid rookie season, his team only won three games. The following year, the Cowboys only won once. But with the additions of quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith, the team quickly rose up the ranks to become a winner. In 1993, Irvin and his Cowboy teammates racked up 13 wins and went on to win the first of three Super Bowls in the decade; the last coming in 1996. Meanwhile, Irvin amassed numerous impressive stats over the course of an eight-year span.Soon after the Cowboys' dynasty was established following their third...

Perhaps one of the most talented wide receivers to play professional football, Michael Irvin helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl championships in the early- to mid-1990s on his way to becoming a five-time Pro Bowler. Born on March 5, 1966 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Irvin was a star player at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. After graduation, he was lured to the University of Miami, where he broke school records in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions while helping the Hurricanes become national champions in 1987. He entered the National Football League draft the following year and was selected in the first round by the Cowboys. Despite a solid rookie season, his team only won three games. The following year, the Cowboys only won once. But with the additions of quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith, the team quickly rose up the ranks to become a winner. In 1993, Irvin and his Cowboy teammates racked up 13 wins and went on to win the first of three Super Bowls in the decade; the last coming in 1996. Meanwhile, Irvin amassed numerous impressive stats over the course of an eight-year span.

Soon after the Cowboys' dynasty was established following their third Super Bowl victory, Irvin began running afoul of the law. In March 1996, he was arrested in a hotel room for possession of cocaine while celebrating his 30th birthday. Amidst a media circus, complete with his typically outlandish dress and bombastic public comments, Irvin pled no-contest and was sentenced to community service and four years probation. He was also suspended by the NFL for the first five games of the 1996 season. Despite a slow start, his team managed to make the playoffs, only to run into controversy again when a Dallas woman claimed that Irvin and a teammate sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. She was later found to have fabricated the entire story and pled guilty to perjury. Adding insult to injury, Irvin's 1996 season ended with a broken collar bone. He recovered to have solid years in 1997 and 1998, but suffered a career-ending injury the following season when he damaged his spinal chord after a hard tackle against the Philadelphia Eagles, forcing him into early retirement.

Irvin's post-NFL career was as lively and controversial as the one he had on the field. In 2001, he was again arrested for cocaine possession after a felony warrant was issued by Denton County authorities. The charges stemmed from an arrest the previous year in North Dallas for misdemeanor possession of marijuana just a month after a judge ended his probation nine days early. Meanwhile, the arrest torpedoed talks between Irvin and Fox Sports over a potential deal for him to become a pregame analyst. But in 2002, he joined the roundtable as the main football analyst on "The Best Damned Sports Show Period" (Fox Sports Net, 2001-09), an irreverent sports show that was well-suited to Irvin's outspoken nature. After only one season, Irvin left to join "Sunday NFL Countdown" (ESPN, 1985- ). In 2005, he was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and used his seat on ESPN's pregame show to claim that he had taken his brother's pipe away from him and had forgotten to throw it out. Less than two years later, ESPN severed ties with the former wide receiver, who was inducted that year into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Following a guest starring turn as a football coach for disadvantaged kids on an episode of "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007- ), Irvin joined the season nine cast of "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC, 2004- ), seeking to be yet another in a long line of professional athletes to win the competition. Immediately following the announcement, Irvin was added to the show "NFL Gameday Morning" on the NFL Network. Meanwhile, he was an early "Dancing With the Stars" favorite with the fans, judges and fellow contestants; the younger of whom seemed to look up to the older, wizened NFL player. Partnered with professional dancer and newcomer to the show, Anna Demidova, Irvin made it all the way until week nine, when he was finally eliminated. He returned, however, for the season finale to appear opposite Jerry Rice, a former finalist on the show, to compete in a mock dance-off to see which former football star was the better dancer. Irvin would take the "prize."

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Jack and Jill (2011)
2.
 Comebacks, The (2007)
3.
 Longest Yard, The (2005) Cast
4.
 Super Bowl XXX (1996) Interviewee
5.
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