Earlier this morning, a report was shared involving the Dallas Cowboys and one of their former employees:
With Rolando McClain suspended, Cowboys talking to LB Justin Durant about reunion after 1 season w/ Falcons, sources say. Could sign soon.
McClain’s suspension will be 10 games as it’s a repeat violation of the NFL’s substance policy. While Dallas currently has several young linebacker prospects and couple of veterans in Andrew Gachkar and Kyle Wilber, they don’t have anyone outside of Sean Lee with longtime starting experience.
Justin Durant, who was released after one year with the Atlanta Falcons, is not only a longtime starter in the NFL but spent two years with the Cowboys from 2013-2014. He has played in this specific defensive scheme under Rod Marinelli. He has the versatility to play either the middle or strongside linebacker spots, depending on where the other plays are best suited.
The downside with Durant is age and health. He turns 31 this September and has missed 19 games over the last three years. Still, he was productive when available for the Falcons; 85 tackles, three pass deflections, and one forced fumble in 13 games. He started all but one of those contests.
If he returns to Dallas, Durant would join Gachkar, Wilber, Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Mark Nzeocha as contenders for the other two starting middle and strongside linebacker jobs. There is no clear indication at this time which players are the front-runners for those positions.
Would this mean the end for Rolando McClain?
Hard to say, but it’s not unreasonable. McClain has been a career problem child and this time has really burned the Cowboys. Talented though he is, McClain missing 10 games doesn’t give him much value toward the 2016 season. The team may feel he’s more valuable now as a lesson to the rest of the roster about the ultimate price of personal conduct issues.