FRIDAY: McClain was not in attendance at camp Friday, leading the Cowboys to place him on the reserve/did not report, per Archer. The Cowboys can now fine McClain up to $30K for each day of camp he misses, though chief operating officer Stephen Jones didn’t reveal Friday whether the team plans to do that. The Cowboys have been in contact with McClain’s agent, Pat Dye, Jones said.
THURSDAY: Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain was not on the team’s Thursday charter flight to Oxnard, Calif., where it holds training camp, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News was among those to report (on Twitter). McClain now has until Friday at 8 a.m. PT or 2 p.m. PT to report to camp, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Those times represent when the Cowboys will hold physicals and when they’ll conduct a team meeting, respectively.
McClain’s failure to show up for the team’s flight is the latest check mark against him in a career filled with them. The past month has been especially forgettable for McClain, whom the NFL suspended in June for the first 10 games of the regular season because of a violation of its substance abuse policy. The ban will cost McClain roughly $2.35MM of the $4MM salary he accepted from the Cowboys when he re-signed with them on a one-year deal during the winter. It’s also McClain’s second suspension since last year, when he missed the first four games of the season because of another substance abuse violation. Still, owner Jerry Jones has stuck by the talented 27-year-old.
“There’s a lot of reasons why we don’t cut him: cap, many reasons,” Jones said earlier this month. “But the bottom line is, I’d like to be positive about this and think that we haven’t seen the last of Rolando McClain.”
Between McClain’s suspensions, his spring decision to skip voluntary team activities (which reportedly infuriated the Cowboys’ coaches), and now his missing-in-action status as camp is set to begin, the five-year veteran hasn’t really given Jones reason to be optimistic. However, considering McClain’s solid output on the field – he graded as Pro Football Focus’ 28th-best linebacker last season – the defensively weak Cowboys aren’t exactly in position to move on from him. But they could decide Friday that McClain’s off-field issues are no longer worth putting up with if he doesn’t report to camp.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.