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Jones Settles Cowboys' In-Fighting

Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys brokered a high six-figure settlement between wide receiver Michael Irvin and guard Everett McIver following their recent scuffle, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday.

A source close to the deal told the newspaper the agreement was reached to prevent McIver from pursuing criminal charges against Irvin or publicly discussing the July 29 incident that left McIver with a deep cut on his neck.

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Previously, McIver, Irvin, Jones and coach Chan Gailey steadfastly refused to comment about the scuffle. Gailey would only describe it as "horseplay," adding, "We're handling it in-house."

Jones strongly denied any knowledge of or role in the reported settlement, according to the newspaper. He confirmed meeting with McIver's agent for several hours over two days last week, and said the two players met when McIver returned to training camp Wednesday.

"I was simply interested in making sure that the media speculation and media reports didn't affect their relationship as teammates," Jones told the newspaper. "They have basically confirmed that any negative feelings are behind them."

Irvin dismissed the report after Saturday's exhibition game against Oakland. "Are you crazy, man? Let it go, let it go," he told the newspaper.

McIver refused to discuss the incident, and other Cowboys players, coaches and personnel have been ordered not to comment.

The Cowboys were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "We don't comment on specific things involving league security. It's a club issue."

The source told the newspaper Irvin wanted McIver's silence because he faces up to 20 years in prison if he is found to have violated terms of his four-year probation. Irvin pleaded no contest to felony cocaine possession in 1996.

Irvin reportedly attacked McIver with a pair of scissors in a dispute over a haircut in a dormitory at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Kan., where the Cowboys train. McIver needed stitches to repair a two-inch cut on the riht side of his neck.

The source compared the incident to "a street fight."

Dallas County probation officials said they are monitoring the incident, but authorities in both Dallas and Wichita Falls say they are powerless unless McIver files a complaint.

The newspaper reported Irvin also may be in violation of the NFL's violent crime policy, instituted in March, which covers incidents involving the use or threat of physical violence to a person and the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime.

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