The Cowboys will release linebacker Rolando McClain, as Calvin Watkins of Dallas Morning News tweets. McClain was recently granted conditional reinstatement into the NFL, but this move was expected due to McClain’s ongoing personal issues.
McClain, a talented former first-round pick of the Raiders, has battled off-the-field demons for years. The Cowboys gambled on him after the Raiders gave up on him and, for a period, that gamble paid off. After years away from the game, the juice is no longer worth the squeeze for the Cowboys. At least, not until he’s able to get back on the right track.
In 2014, the Cowboys acquired McClain via trade and used him in 13 games. He finished that season with 81 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. After that, he was hit with his first – but not last – NFL suspension. In 2015, he was limited to just eleven games, though he still tallied 80 tackles and a pair of sacks.
After signing another one-year deal with the Cowboys during the 2016 offseason, McClain was handed a ten-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He then failed another drug test midway through the season, and the NFL slapped him with an indefinite suspension. After his third ban in two years, McClain was cuffed on a 2017 arrest for firearm and drug charges.
We haven’t seen McClain on the field since the 2015 season and it remains to be seen whether the 30-year-old is in game shape.