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
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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