Nov 4, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) is pursued by Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch (33), linebacker Rolando McClain (55) and safety Mike Mitchell (34) at the O.co Coliseum. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders 42-32. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Revert Back To Old Ways


The Dallas Cowboys have had a solid offseason in my opinion.  From their draft to their decision to cut loose aging veterans like defensive end DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, I believe they are making smarter decisions than they have in the past.  Say what you will about head coach Jason Garrett, but he has his imprint on this roster and is acquiring younger, hungrier, and ‘good character’ type players.

That makes their decision to trade for troubled linebacker Rolando McClain that much more completing.  Although only 24 years of age, McClain comes with quite a bit of baggage.  Multiple off field issues which led to arrests prompted the Oakland Raiders to cut him in 2013.  Let me repeat that!  The Oakland Raiders cut a player for off the field incidents!

So why would the Cowboys take a chance on a troubled player?  It reminds me if the days when they were signing players like cornerback Pacman Jones, defensive tackle Tank Johnson, and wide receiver Terrell Owens.  All talented players who carried with them some off the field luggage.  The difference with McClain is he isn’t a top tier player at his position like some of the other players mentioned.

At the University of Alabama McClain was a stud.  So much so the Raiders used the 8th overall pick to draft him.  His college success has not translated to the NFL level.  I understand the Cowboys gave up very little but I wonder if it is worth the chance.

If McClain had a huge upside I would certainly understand the decision to trade for him.  However, I don’t see his skill set as one that warrants taking a gamble on him.  He is a big, powerful linebacker who lacks top level speed.  This lack of speed makes his coverage skills average at best.  We all know how important it is to have linebackers who are adept in coverage in a Cover 2 zone defense like the Cowboys run.

A lot of people within the organization are viewing this as a low-risk, high reward deal. I understand the low-risk aspect of the trade.  It is the high reward part that I question.  McClain has not proven he can play at a high level in this league.  With all the young players on this team, I worry about him potentially having a negative impact in the locker room.  Let’s hope Garrett has acquired enough ‘good character’ guys to keep McClain in check.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Rolando McClain

  • Teddy C

    I believe that Garrett would’ve never stuck his neck out if it weren’t for a come to Jesus conversation with Nick Saban. Their relationship goes back and I’m sure Nick said the risk was worth it to the “Right kind of” coaching staff. I’ve been to Oakland and If getting arrested was the only way to get out of there…I’m would be a small price to pay, much less what I’m know of the Raider organization. I’m like the rest of Cowboy Nation when it comes to this kid, get Dez, Jason, Deon and Michael around him and he could just s uprising us all. Until then I’ll cover my face and peak through my fingers.

  • Earl Robertson

    Exactly what I am worry about also I think Jerry has undermined his coach once again

    • Old Frog

      I think finding this guy is McClay’s job. After that it’s on all the coaches, as well as Jerry and Stephen, to vet him and decide whether or not to bring him on the team. One person did not make this decision.

  • Tim

    The risk reward is definitely worth it. If it works out we give up virtually nothing. If it doesn’t work out, we give up absolutely nothing. What’s the problem. and what’s the “gamble”?

  • BradAustin

    It’s almost impossible to have a negative impact in a training camp locker room. Players are concentrating fully on getting their own stuff together and preparing for the season. Many are simply doing all they can to even make the roster. I doubt anyone is gonna take much negative from a guy that isn’t happy. They don’t have time for other people’s complaints in camp.

    Not saying he will do that, just that it wouldn’t possibly rub off on anyone until after the season began and the roster is decided. By that time I doubt very seriously the looker room cancer would be around if that’s been his attitude. This guy is fighting to make this team, not a proven star the team is in desperate need to keep happy. There’s no risk here.

  • Howard C

    If McClain is serious about coming back then he has to understand that this is his last chance to make it back. I think that he realizes what a horrible mistake he made and wants to get back. If I had the opportunity to make millions and screwed it up I would want to fix that mistake.

  • ctcowboy1968

    This guy could be a game changer for this D. Solid run stuffer. Many “evaluators” believe he can pass cover. If he gets his head back into football, then Dallas’ LB unit has seriously improved.

  • Guy Smith

    What a joke team we have become.And you wonder why fans across this nation laugh at us.

  • billy

    i guess the risk is low but im thinking its a total waste of time. the commitment to work isnt there which is the basis for just about all achievement. especially in the highly competitive world of pro football. most of the other guys he will be competing against will be giving everything theyve got and then some more if they can to get on a pro team. someone with a limited ability to start with then isnt willing to pay the price to catch on with a team, has hardly a chance. hes not the first highly touted player to miss the mental part of the game. high school and college were so easy for them they think they can make a pro team by just walking on the field. they miss the part about studying and work on the practice field. hes going to be another in a long line of players who never get it. i hope im wrong but i dont think i am.