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.
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: