Sorry, but Rolando McClain isn’t good enough to be this bad.
With Sean Lee injured, the Cowboys were desperate last summer and McClain filled a crucial void. They lured him out of retirement, absorbed his baggage and were rewarded. McClain was good on the field, no doubt. Played in 12 games with a sack, two interceptions, 108 tackles and was a positive contributor on an improved defense that helped them go 12-4 and win a playoff game.
With the return of Lee, the growth of young players such as Anthony Hitchens and the addition of free-agent Jasper Brinkley, the landscape has changed. The Cowboys are better, deeper at linebacker. Meaning McClain’s leash is shorter.
In the wake of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, to me McClain is now one misstep from being an ex-Cowboy.
The team prepared for this. That’s why they signed him to only a one-year contract in the offseason. He’s never been interested in practicing, but last year he showed up big time on game days. Also, to the chagrin of the team, he stayed in Alabama and skipped the off-season program to rehab after knee surgery.
He’ll miss early games against the Giants and Eagles, meaning the Cowboys will be without two of their anticipated best defensive playmakers in key NFC East games.
Bottom line: McClain has deteriorated from a necessity the Cowboys couldn’t live without out, into a luxury they no longer have to tolerate.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.