Garrett: McClain Still an Option

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As the Dallas Cowboys made a move to sign free agent linebacker Jasper Brinkley, it seemed their plans to possibly bring back Rolando McClain were evaporating. McClain was a complete flier last season after the Cowboys traded a seventh-round draft pick to the oft-troubled, but extremely talented middle linebacker, who had retired twice by age 25.

And the flier paid off in a big way, as McClain led a Cowboys defense that improved drastically from 2013 and helped the Cowboys to the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs after Sean Lee tore his knee up in OTAs and never had a chance to help the team in 2014.

Now, McClain is still a free agent, and while it seemed almost a certainty the Cowboys would bring him back, the more time that passes seems to point to the opposite, even after McClain tallied 81 tackles in the regular season to go with a sack and two interceptions.

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McClain does face a possible four-game fine heading into the 2015 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, so he's a bit of a hot topic, but if the Cowboys can employ Greg Hardy, they can re-sign McClain.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Monday that McClain is still in play for the linebacker corps, which lost both Bruce Carter and Justin Durant already this offseason. While Lee is set to return at full strength, he's never played a full healthy season.

“I talked to him two or three days ago,’’ Garrett told reporters in Arizona. “We’re just working through the business of the NFL.’’

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