The Dallas Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for retired linebacker Ronaldo McClain and a seventh-round pick. He says he wants to play, but this is a curious move considering that McClain, who is only 23, can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble or decide whether he truly wants to pursue football or not. Dallas may look it as low-risk, but it may come back to bite them.
McClain’s criminal record is a major red flag. His crimes range from illegal window tint, third-degree assault, and even being involved in a shooting in Alabama in 2011.
This guy seems like he can’t get out of his own way. Yes, he’s young and I’m sure his background has something to do with it, but at some point he must be accountable. Being young can’t be used as an excuse to be reckless. When people make the commitment to play in the NFL they are expected act in a professional manner. McClain simply hasn’t displayed the willingness to do so; at least not yet.
The other concerning point for the Cowboys is his on-field contribution. Since he was drafted in 2010 by the Oakland Raiders, he has 6.5 sacks, one interception and a forced fumble. He’s missed games due to team misconduct and even been taken out of the lineup for lack of performance.
The biggest question in my mind is, does he really want to play?
It seems like he has flip-flopped on his future numerous times. Who knows if he will even make it out of training camp before deciding football isn’t for him again? This guy can’t be depended on at this point. There’s no way he can be trusted to the the insurance policy for Sean Lee.
Some organizations and coaches always feel like they can fix a player who has underperformed. Obviously, the Cowboys staff have discussed this. Hopefully for the team and McClain he can fix his on-field performance and his personal struggles.
I’m all about second chances, but it seems to me the risk doesn’t match the reward in this case. There are too many question marks for this guy. It may not seem like a big sacrifice, but the Cowboys may be letting a cancer into their locker room that could tear them apart.