Oct 12, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys middle linebackerRolando McClain
(55) celebrates after a failed fourth down play by the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter of a 26-20 Dallas victory at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
5. Rolando McClain, Linebacker
When Rolando McClain was announced as the man to replace the injured Sean Lee at linebacker to say there were doubts is being kind. A former top ten draft pick with issues both on and off the field, twice retired by the age of twenty-four and a number of unsavory incidents with the law.
He certainly didn’t sound like an obvious choice, but anyone who doubted him was wrong. Sometimes a player and a team are just a good fit, and it appears this is the case here. McClain has made big play after big play for the Cowboys. He’s been troubled by injuries (which linebacker hasn’t on this team). But when needed he’s delivered. He’s currently ranked as the 4th best inside linebacker on Pro Football Focus. He leads the team in stops and is second behind Barry Church for tackles.
With fellow linebacker Justin Durant recently sidelined for the season, the leadership responsibility has fallen to McClain and his all go attitude on the field is admirable. McClain seems happy to be on the field, and boy are we happy to have him there.
"“…it felt good to get out there and play with these guys. When you have a bunch of guys fighting together and believing together, it’s fun. We don’t worry about anything but playing the next play. We have a great group of players and coaches who are working together. I don’t know what it was like before, but this group is trying to do some things.”"
It’s unnerving to think where the Cowboys would be right now had they not bought McClain in. A bigger, longer contract is surely inevitable come the end of the season. I just hope that in a years time, seeing the likes of Lee, Durant and McClain on the field together is something I’ll be thankful for.