For whatever reason, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones likes to give troubled players second chances. That hasn’t changed as the Cowboys reportedly traded for “retired” Baltimore Ravens linebacker Rolando McClain on Tuesday.
Interrupt soccer for this: Dallas traded 6th-rd pick for LB Rolando McClain and Baltimore’s 7th-rd pick, per source. McClain wants to play.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 1, 2014
Besides interrupting the USA–Belgium World Cup game, the Cowboys are wasting time with a bust of a former No. 8 overall NFL Draft pick who didn’t pan out for the Oakland Raiders and then never played for the Ravens after retiring before the start of his fourth pro season.
In addition, McClain has been arrested three times by the Decatur, Ala. police since being drafted out of Alabama in 2010. Aside from a decent sophomore season for the Raiders in which he recorded five sacks and 99 tackles, McClain has done nothing since his Crimson Tide days to show that he’s worth any team taking a chance a chance on after retiring twice from the NFL.
Ever since Sean Lee’s ACL tear this offseason, the Cowboys have been adamant they will replace Lee’s production at linebacker “in-house,” and passed on the chance to bring in veterans like Jonathan Vilma. Staying in-house and choosing not to pursue someone like Vilma is justified, but trading for McClain is not, especially since that’s not keeping things in-house. Giving up a sixth-rounder for McClain and the Ravens’ seventh-rounder isn’t a huge deal and leaves this as a low-risk situation for Dallas, but it still seems like a desperation move after the team stated it wouldn’t do something like this.
Now McClain could suddenly turn things around and again become the dominant defender the Raiders thought they were getting in 2010, although that’s unlikely. Cowboys fans should have low expectations for the newest member of their team until he does something — anything — to prove he’s worth a roster spot at this point.