Spring 2021 Magazine

Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin says he gave his life to Christ in 2001

“The Playmaker”

That’s the name Michael Irvin was known for during his 13-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Selected in the first round by Dallas in the 1988 NFL Draft, Irvin was part of three Super Bowl winning teams in 1992, 1993, and 1995 with the Cowboys. He was forced to retire from the NFL in 1999 after suffering a neck injury in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2007, Irvin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

He’s considered the greatest receiver in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

Off the field, Irvin has also endured his share of hardships, including a 5 game suspension in 1996 after pleading no contest to a felony charge of cocaine possession.

A year following his retirement from the NFL, in July of 2001, Irvin again was again arrested on charge of cocaine possession.

It was clear Michael Irvin was in trouble.

It was also during that time that Michael made another decision, that he shared in the book Football Faith by Rob Maadi.

“I turned my life over to Christ in early 2001 with help from Pastor T.D. Jakes and my friend and fellow believer, Deion Sanders,” Irvin wrote. “It took me forty years to really realize the hand that God had on me. I did almost every bad thing you could do, but it’s through the power of God I can live this life.”

“Sometimes we will have problems and they can get overwhelming,” Irvin continued to write. “But when God saves us, we think about all He has brought us through and it’s just amazing.” You might say I should hide my problems, avoid talking about my past, but I just want to spread the word about how good Jesus is to me It’s His hand that brought me through all this. As Christians, I think we have a heavy responsibility to be witness to God’s power. I know what God can do because of what He did for me. I don’t want people to forget my story and rob God of all His glory.”

Irvin, who currently works as an NFL analyst with the NFL Network. He told Pastor Jakes on a televised interview in 2007 about why it’s important to focus on the spiritual and not the secular world.

“The secular world is saying ‘bad bad bad person’ and when you get around your spiritual brothers and sisters, they’re saying a different thing, they’re saying ‘boy, look at what God is doing for you’ and we know our spirits get a hold of that and it says God is doing it for you.”

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