Scissorgate: Remembering when Michael Irvin nearly stabbed a teammate to death

Everett McIver. What does that name mean to you? Nothing? Here’s a clue: He was an average offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys from 1998 until 2000.

Still nothing? How about this: Scissorgate. That’s right, Everett McIver was the guy Dallas Cowboys star wideout, Michael Irvin stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors.

How the heck did a Cowboy get assaulted in a manner that would have been considered extreme in the actual Wild West? Well, whether you vaguely remember the specifics or are hearing the tale for the first time, gather round for the story of Scissorgate.

The year was 1998. The Dallas Cowboys were in training camp at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas,

Everett McIver, apparently, was caped up and sitting in the barber’s chair, a haircut in progress. In came Michael Irvin, who was none too happy he’d have to wait to have his lines tightened.

“Seniority!” Irvin yelled. Not once, but four times. “Punk get the fuck out of my chair!”

Michael Irvin

Now, McIver had been in the league five years at that point, so he felt he’d paid his dues. “You’re no fuckin’ rookie. He can’t tell you what to do,” another lineman chirped in McIver’s ear.

“Damn right!” McIver said (or at least thought). He got up from the chair and shoved No. 88. The two came to blows and Irvin reached for a pair of scissors. Fortunately, it wasn’t a straight blade. Irvin plunged the shears into McIver’s neck, missing his carotid artery by inches.

“The whole scene was crazy,” said Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I mean, we were on the same team.”

The scissor stabbing was insane enough, but to make matters worse, Irvin was already on probation at the time of incident thanks to a cocaine bust. Thus, Irvin was facing certain jail time, should McIver elect to press charges.

Enter Jerry Jones. Jones compelled Irvin to fork over a handsome sum (reportedly six figures) to keep the matter out of court and buy the stabbed lineman’s silence.

Jones would later describe what happened between the two men as “horseplay.”

The whole affair was almost swept under the rug (as the Cowboys would have liked). However, the Dallas Morning News got wind of the payoff and ran a story related to the stabbing. Jones, for his part, went ballistic and threatened to remove Cowboys’ ads from the paper.

Thereafter, McIver, Irvin, Jones and Coach Chan Gailey refused to comment about the stabbing. Gailey, when pressed, toed the party line, calling the incident “horseplay,” adding, “We’re handling it in-house.”

Horseplay, indeed. Horseplay might result in a kid scraping his knee after being chased on the playground. It doesn’t usually result in a grown man having a pair of scissors thrust into his neck and a potentially fatal fashion.

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