Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys have been known to bring in players with "red flags", and sometimes turn them into exceptional stories that end up playing at a very high level with the star on their helmet. Others, of course, have not worked out - and these are the players that the national media and opposing fans remember when talks of the "dysfunctional Cowboys" rear their ugly heads once again leading up to a new season.
The Cowboys most recent examples in Randy Gregory and Rolando McClain have seemingly helped Dallas turn a page under Jason Garrett though, as they are focusing on the guys they currently have in Oxnard, California, for training camp - and the ones that are all in when it comes to bringing this team back to the top of the league in 2016.
While Gregory could still work himself into this conversation down the line (currently at a rehab center for the drug related issues that have hampered him ever since entering the NFL Draft after his time collegiality at Nebraska), Rolando McClain seems all but impossibly far from a Cowboys - or NFL - return.
How did we get to this point?
McClain, after proving himself as a more-than-capable starter in 2014, declined a bit last season - but was brought back on a one year deal to once again man the middle of the field for the Dallas defense.
The Cowboys felt so confident in a third year under the time-bomb that was McClain that they did not feel the need to address the middle linebacker position for the upcoming season outside of having him, Anthony Hitchens, and some other linebackers that they employ. Jaylon Smith was drafted in the second round, but you well know by now that his plan will be to return to the field in 2017, if at all.
The Cowboys 2016 plan at the middle linebacker position could be written in 2 words: Rolando McClain.
McClain failed to report to the Cowboys optional off season workouts in the early summer, which eventually led into the pre-training camp mini camp - which is mandatory.
Rolando reported to these workouts, although he didn't do much on the field, only to disappear into the summer heat once more before training camp to the same disastrous results.
Before the Dallas Cowboys flew out to Oxnard, they learned that McClain would start 2016 with a ten game suspension. Their starting MIKE linebacker turned overweight distraction gave the team a slight relief by not even boarding the plane to the California practice fields.
Speaks volumes. https://t.co/ZgbhyERnST
This allowed the Cowboys to begin camp practices without the distraction of dealing with McClain, who would have no real role at all with the team. Of course, he is still out there doing his thing, and his name will continue to be tied to the Cowboys until he is officially off the roster.
Today, the name Rolando McClain once again became associated with negativity and concern from people close to him, as the so -called "football player" is now reportedly dealing with an addiction to cough syrup - which has done him no favors in keeping his body close to ready for a timely return to the game.
@JasonColeBR credible report on McClain 'Purple Drank' add: #Cowboys Ro pal to me: 'I'm worried abt him -& not in any football-related way'
Rolando has gained up to 40 pounds, drawing him much closer to the National Fishing League than the National Football League.
As the Cowboys 2016 training camp moves on, with the focus remaining on the hard-working players that could lead this team back to their 2014 form, Rolando McClain has found yet another way to damage that team message from miles away.
Let's hope that this is the last we hear from McClain, as we'll play him out with a fitting tune, and turn our attention to the likes of Anthony Hitchens and Mark Nzeocha, who figure to get continued work at middle linebacker:
WARNING: Explicit Lyrics
Three 6 Mafia - Sippin' on Some Syrup
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal
At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.
The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.
Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.
Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.
A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.
Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.
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