Rolando McClain has earned a 10-game suspension for repeated violations of the NFL drug policy. He did not participate in the team's voluntary activities and showed up to the mandatory minicamp overweight. He has no-showed training camp and there is no indication that he wants to play football anymore.
So, why is he still a Dallas Cowboy?
This is the question that many fans are asking about McClain's status. For years, Jason Garrett has promoted a locker room mantra about having "the right kind of guys." He is annoyingly repetitious about the importance of players wanting to be here and giving their best.
Rolando McClain spits in the face of everything Garrett preaches.
Dallas knew that McClain was a risk. He has played each of the last two seasons on one-year contracts and was signed to another last March. The Cowboys weren't going to make any long-term investment in a player with clear character and motivational issues.
So, given that McClain has gone off the deep end, why are the Cowboys waiting to cut him loose? What's to gain?
Jerry Jones gave a rambling, barely coherent answer last week. He mentioned "cap considerations" and didn't go into much detail. Really?
For 2016, McClain was given a $750k signing bonus. The rest of his compensation is in non-guaranteed salary and incentives. Now, if McClain is still on the roster during the suspension, Dallas can recoup some of that bonus money.
If you think it's odd that the Cowboys would be miserly about that money, you're not alone. Just a year ago, Dallas gave free agent linebacker Jasper Brinkley $2 million in guaranteed money and then cut him before Week One. This was a guy who simply got beat out by younger prospects. He didn't undermine the head coach's core philosophy.
Clearly, Dallas doesn't need one dollar back from McClain's signing bonus. So, what's the real issue?
Sadly, it may be the hope of getting something out of him later this season. Knowing that McClain won't be available until November anyway, Dallas could be swallowing all of this now so that McClain can eventually re-join the team and perhaps help them make a playoff run.
The tragedy of Rolando McClain is just how incredibly talented he is. Even as a guy who doesn't love football, McClain can be a difference maker just on his natural gifts. He's done it the last two years, when healthy, for the Cowboys.
Can McClain get himself into playing shape and contribute by Week 11? Sure, and that could be what the Cowboys are hoping for.
However, this isn't a time when Dallas can afford to make deals with devils. The character and culture of the team has been brought into question among fans and even mainstream media, beginning with the Greg Hardy fiasco and escalating this year with the suspensions of McClain, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Randy Gregory.
Less than 10% of the roster shouldn't define it's character, but that's not how modern media works. Small samples and vocal minorities are now more than enough to convict, be it in politics, social issues, or sports analysis.
But we don't even have to get that grandiose about it. We can bring it down to the single Cowboys fan who's listening to the next Jason Garrett press conference. The head coach starts praising some player for being "the right kind of guy" and the "type of person" that the organization is looking for.
The fan rolls his eyes. He thinks of Rolando McClain.
That is what the Cowboys and Garrett are up against right now. If the mantra is losing traction with fans, is it unreasonable to assume that the same won't happen in the locker room? If some players get multiple chances for selfish behavior and poor conduct then why should others stay on the straight and narrow?
Is it really worth less than $750k to tell your team that Garrett's mantra is bullshit?
I have no doubt that Rolando McClain has personal problems. However, he's not in treatment like Randy Gregory or seemingly taking any steps to address them. He's also a 27-year-old man who's had more than enough forgiveness and excuses made for him.
It's time to stop letting this self-absorbed, unmotivated waste of talent represent the Dallas Cowboys. I don't care what he might do for you later this season. What's he doing now is destructive to the team's image, the coach's credibility, and potentially the young players in the locker room.
It's time to put Jones' money where Garrett's mouth is.
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 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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