3 Free Agents That Could Replace Rolando McClain in Dallas

    The have unfortunately put themselves in a really tough situation on the defensive side of the ball. They have three defensive players on their front seven that will be suspended to start the season, and they will have to find a way to compensate for their absence.

    One player in particular may be extremely difficult to replace.

    is a difference maker when he's on the field, but due to recent news we now know that he will miss the first 10 games of the year. McClain could possibly see his time with the Dallas Cowboys coming to an end.

    There comes a time when you have to move on from these knucklehead players, despite their talent. The time is now for the Cowboys to send a message to the rest of their team that this kind of conduct is unacceptable.

    I personally was hoping that McClain would become a difference maker in 2016, since this would be his first full with the Dallas Cowboys. I even went as far as writing an article about how he could be the key to the defensive success in 2016, but now the Cowboys are left trying to replace him.

    They have options on their current roster, but not many players with very much NFL experience. Of course, could move back to MLB, but that's not ideal due to his and the physical nature of the position. might be the favorite at this point, but even he is unproven. That is why I think it might be wise to go the veteran route to help fill the void at the middle position.

    I decided to do a little research to find out if there were any veteran linebackers that could be of interest, and here is what I came up with:

    Justin Durant

    Cowboys Headlines - 3 Free Agent Options To Replace Rolando McClain For Cowboys
    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY

    The Dallas Cowboys already have a familiarity with veteran linebacker , so that may make him an intriguing option to replace Rolando McClain. Durant was part of the organization in 2013 and 2014, but spent the 2015 season with the .

    As a member of the Falcons last season, Justin Durant accumulated a total of 82 combined tackles, three passes defensed, and one forced fumble. Not eye-popping numbers, but pretty solid nonetheless.

    Unfortunately, have plagued him the majority of his NFL career and I'm not sure the Cowboys would want to bring in a player that might not last the entire season. Plus, due to his size (6'1″, 230) and his age (30), he may be a better fit as a weak side linebacker instead of an MLB.

    If the Cowboys are looking for a veteran to help fill in, they could kick the tires on Justin Durant and see if he could possibly help out.

    Curtis Lofton

    Cowboys Headlines - 3 Free Agent Options To Replace Rolando McClain For Cowboys 2Curtis Lofton is coming off his worst season in the NFL after spending last year with the . He finished the year with just 64 total tackles and one sack.

    Lofton is probably a better fit to play MLB for the Dallas Cowboys than Justin Durant and has been a tackling machine throughout his NFL career.

    He is still recovering from off-season knee and ankle surgeries, but the surgeries aren't considered serious. He should be ready to play in 2016.

    Curtis Lofton just turned 30 years old and is entering the stage of his career where injuries might become a reoccurring theme. I think he has a lot of good football ahead of him and would be a really interesting option if Dallas decides to bring in a veteran linebacker.

    DeMeco Ryans

    Cowboys Headlines - 3 Free Agent Options To Replace Rolando McClain For Cowboys 3DeMeco Ryans is not only the most tenured linebacker on this list, but also has the most experience playing in the division.

    Ryans has spent the last four seasons as a member of the , but was a recent cap casually, thus making him available as a free agent. Last season, for the Eagles, he had 49 total tackles, five passes defensed, one interception, and one forced fumble.

    His experience within the division might be beneficial to the Cowboys , but at this point in his career his skill set could be starting to diminish. Players start slowing down with age and it just might be catching up to DeMeco Ryans.

    Living in the Houston area, I witnessed firsthand how effective he can be on the field during his time with the , but I can honestly say I kind of lost track of him when he joined the Eagles.

    I think it would be worthwhile for the Dallas Cowboys to see what he's got left in the tank and put him through a workout.

    Are any of these vet LBs realistic options for the Cowboys?

    Of course, all of this is speculation that the organization and staff isn't already comfortable with what they have at the linebacker position. They still have to get through, but I think it's still worth mentioning that there are some veteran options available.

    Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

    Brian Martin
    Brian Martin
    Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.


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    jimmy d

    Thanks for writing this! Once McClain got suspended, my first thought was enough is enough… Cowboys will now sign someone to help the defense. However…. I saw no articles on the topic until yours. I hope we see a workout or signing soon.

    Jeff Brisco

    Interesting article. I really liked the thought process. I like Curtis Lofton. Out of all 3 I believe he would be the best fit. I also think they would get total buy in from him. The price would be cheap too. I believe Marinelli would find a way to get the most out of him.


    Greate article, unfortunately cowboys have young players on this roster and a few choices of old and banged up players on the latter part of their careers. I don't see any good options at this point for my boys. Perhaps Durant would be their best option due to his familiarity with the Cowboys system (2013 and 2014).


    I wouldn't hesitate to bring back Greg Hardy.


    What about a trade option? We have plenty of RB's now, weird to say that considering it wasnt too long ago we all were pulling our hair out over the lack of depth at that position. Wouldnt we (possibly) be able to find better value if a team has need at RB due to injury during camp?


    P.s. I also applaud the article for its uniqueness!


    I really liked this article also I think they should cut ties with McClain and sign Curtis Lofton or Demico Ryans to a cheap 1 year deal before training camp and see what they have left. If younger players currently on the roster outplay them during camp and preseason then they can cut ties with them without losing anything but it's better to try and maximize there options.

    Julius Bridges Jr

    Bring in Ryans , trade Leary .. and , McFadden , along with a second round pick in next year's draft , for the rights to Joey Bosa ! The Cowboys are on the edge of something special , within the next few seasons ( .. if not , this season ) . Time is too precious for The Dope Head Daycare Program to keep opening it's doors to the adolescents , whom have yet to fully mature towards the responsibility level required to become a TRUE professional athlete .. What good is a player if he's unable to suit up ! TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY …


    More than likely, they wait to see who is available after training camp rosters get trimmed down. Go with one of there own for now.

    Allen Rogers

    You hit the nail right on the head with this article Brian Martin. Since R.McClain cant stop puffing the weed, we should make it so, he has plenty of time to get high!!!! D.Ryans would be a perfect fit at linebacker for us, I hope JJ gives him a workout.


    How come no one is talking about AJ Hawk, i know he has lost a step but i think he is talented enough paired with Hitchens to keep the position steady until next year when Hopefully Smith can get on the field… plus paired with Sean lee i think some nice plays could happen… But honestly.. .to me there isnt a reason why Anthony Hitchens should get the job… maybe even the whole job, he played good when McClain was out last year and i think more time is what he needs… I just wish we could find more blitz packages for Kyle Wilber this year.. if you look at his size and speed I dont understand, i know blitz packages arent Rod marinelli's thing but to me we have the talent at LB to get to the QB more… Kyle Wilber should also get a shot a MLB


    Pick all three an go with 6 linebacker for the season be creative if you can afford them it will work