NFL Hall of Famer Questions if Unvaccinated Teams Are Serious About Championship Hopes

NFL Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin recently questioned if unvaccinated teams are serious about their hopes to win a Super Bowl amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While speaking with the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Irvin, a former Cowboy, was asked about the team's COVID-19 vaccination rate, following reports they are one of the few teams below the 85 percent threshold for player vaccinations.

"It should upset them," Irvin told the Star Telegram regarding the Cowboys player vaccination rate.

"It should upset them. Dude, you're not thinking right. I don't give a damn. Nothing else can be more important. You're not going to get this [winning a Super Bowl] easily. And not being one of the [vaccinated teams] says there's other things to a great number of people on this team that are more important than winning championships and that makes me worried," Irvin said.

Irvin continued, "If you're not one of the [vaccinated] teams are you really thinking about winning a championship?"

Irvin also told the Star Telegram that if he was currently on a NFL team, he would be making sure his teammates were vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Somebody in that damn locker room needs to say, 'Hey man we're going to have a chance, are you vaccinated? Let's go through this because this could be two weeks, a healthy dude missing games. In this league that could be it for you. The right person misses two weeks, that's it. You're [butt] is out. I'll fight a [expletive]," Irvin said according to the Star Telegram.

The comments by Irvin, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Cowboys, comes shortly after reports suggested that the Cowboys were one of the teams below the 85 percent COVID-19 player vaccination threshold.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network recently reported just 13 of the NFL's 32 teams have vaccinated at least 85 percent of its players against the novel coronavirus. Shortly after Pelissero's reporting, USA Today reported that, according to a source, the Cowboys were not one of the 13 teams above the 85 percent vaccination rate with just a few days until teams will report to training camp.

The Cowboys are not among teams who have reached 85% vaccinated threshold, a source informed tells @usatodaysports. Cowboys leave for training camp in 8 days. It is not expected players will have “even enough first doses to get close by next week,” source says.

— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) July 12, 2021

In June, the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) announced updated COVID-19 vaccination guidelines, which stated players and staff who are not fully vaccinated will be barred from gathering outside club facilities or team travel. Unvaccinated players are also prohibited from going to nightclubs, parties and concerts.

Additionally, unvaccinated players must undergo daily COVID-19 testing and they are required to wear masks when inside team facilities.

Newsweek reached out to the Dallas Cowboys for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Michael Irvin
NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin recently questioned if unvaccinated NFL teams are serious about their Super Bowl hopes. Michael Irvin looks on before the start of the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on Sept. 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. James Gilbert/Getty