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Rolando McClain to start in the middle for the Cowboys


Maybe it’s just the state of the Cowboys’ defense, or maybe Rolando McClain can really play.

Either way, the twice-retired No. 8-overall pick is a starter again, after not playing since 2012.

According to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Bruce Carter said he was starting on the strong side, McClain in the middle and Justin Durant on the weak side.

Durant spent most of the preseason practicing in the middle, though he has the versatility McClain doesn’t. But team owner Jerry Jones declared McClain “very impressive” this preseason, and that endorsement means a lot.

But they were clearly hoping McClain could win the job, based mostly on the lack of impact players on their defense.

If McClain is engaged and motivated, he could be a solid player for them. Remaining that way has always been the challenge, however.

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45 Responses to “Rolando McClain to start in the middle for the Cowboys”
  1. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 1, 2014 2:18 PM

    Congratulations to McClain, but that can’t be a good thing if you’re a Cowboy fan.

  2. 700levelvet says: Sep 1, 2014 2:19 PM

    The.”Most mediocre franchise in sports”…

  3. araidersfan says: Sep 1, 2014 2:19 PM

    Starting the ultimate slug in McClain at a critical position is bottom-feeding, pure and simple. And bottom-feeding in the formation of a roster invariably leads to bottom-feeding in the standings.

    Trust me, as a Raider fan I’ve known about this over the last 10 years and it looks like this is going to be the beginning of a long residency in the sewer for the Cowpokes that’ll make their fans nostalgic for the Dave Campo years. Since I don’t really like Dallas, I can’t say that I have much sympathy.

  4. badmoonrison says: Sep 1, 2014 2:24 PM

    Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel. JJ better not let this kid out of his sight or something bad will happen with him. I’ll always remember that article in which he said he felt like he came close to committing murder his rookie year. Not the mindset I want on my team.

  5. 49erfan44 says: Sep 1, 2014 2:27 PM

    So this is what its come to, Jerry?

  6. 4grammarpolice says: Sep 1, 2014 2:30 PM

    I can’t wait for him to suck…again.

  7. bassplucker says: Sep 1, 2014 2:31 PM

    TEs over the middle ALL DAY.

  8. McFaddensPulledHammy says: Sep 1, 2014 2:31 PM

    Just don’t let him go to Decatur during the bye week……

  9. Eutaw's Finest says: Sep 1, 2014 2:34 PM

    Thanks for the draft pick.

    -Ravens fans

  10. jjeagle says: Sep 1, 2014 2:39 PM


    either the cowboys defense is this worse…or McClain has turned his football career around…I think the first is true…

  11. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Sep 1, 2014 2:42 PM

    Wow. What a mistake!

  12. bassplucker says: Sep 1, 2014 2:42 PM

    How far is Dallas from Alabama again?

  13. gammynomnom says: Sep 1, 2014 2:45 PM

    You will waste it anyway

    _ Cowboys fan

  14. freepretzels says: Sep 1, 2014 2:47 PM

    McClain will be the enforcer in the middle they need. Can’t cover or make calls, but its not like the Cowboys are going to stop anybody anyway.

  15. bigfella87 says: Sep 1, 2014 2:49 PM

    Ah. Practices and commitment requirements must be a lot lighter and easier than they were in Oakland and Baltimore.

    Seriously though, does anybody really think he’s in it for the long run?

    Honest question. Thoughts?

  16. bleeponmymind says: Sep 1, 2014 2:49 PM

    C’mon man! Give the guy a chance! Or two, or 3!

  17. phillyboypat5 says: Sep 1, 2014 2:50 PM

    What other option does Dallas have? Might as well see if there’s any gas left in his tank. Nobody is expecting anything from this team anyway. Might end up exceeding expectations….

    As an Eagles fan, I hope not!

  18. CowboyErik says: Sep 1, 2014 2:52 PM

    MCCLAIN!!! Diehard with a Vengence!

  19. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Sep 1, 2014 2:53 PM

    Reality is none of the three should be starting at LB week one. It shows how desperate they have become.

    It will be the first NFL game McClain has played in years. Durant is a career backup any where else and Carter was awful last season in coverage. Last I heard Carter was being demoted.

    The best LB they have left is Wilber and they are making him play DE instead because that position is depleted.

    Train wreck ahead people.

  20. mweekes22 says: Sep 1, 2014 3:00 PM

    There would be many teams struggling to find a suitable replacement for a pro bowl linebacker. If anything the cowboys have hurt themselves even more by pretending to be contenders and finishing with mid first round picks each year. The cowboys almost won 10-11 games last year with the worst defense statistically in the history of the league. The eagles, who everyone is hyping up to be great this year, lost to the cowboys last year 17-3 in philly and beat them by 2 points in the regular season finale with kyle orton starting and a defense that was found sleeping on the streets somewhere the week previous. The Cowboys need to run the ball and keep their awful D off the field as much as possible.

  21. rayricespimphand says: Sep 1, 2014 3:01 PM

    The pick Jerry traded for him was dependent on playing time that no one outside of Dallas actually expected to ever happen. Excellent news for Raven fans and fans of any team in the NFC East not named Cowboys.

  22. orivar says: Sep 1, 2014 3:18 PM

    When did he come back? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I know he was traded but he was still retired then suddenly he reappears.

    I’m confused. I’m sure he’s confused too. Heck I’m confused because he’s confused.

  23. jdrewsy says: Sep 1, 2014 3:25 PM

    This defense isn’t getting arrested or suspended, but that doesn’t mean they are good. They will be a train wreck! Romo, please beat San Fran for us!

  24. nomoreseasontix says: Sep 1, 2014 3:26 PM

    Get used to seeng him run to the wrong spot as if he’s in ankle deep sand.

  25. guachosporlife says: Sep 1, 2014 3:28 PM

    Romo and Co. will have to put up 35 points a game to win. Of course he will still be blamed for loses if he does.

  26. minervamob says: Sep 1, 2014 3:38 PM

    The reaponses on this article are embarrassing. Obviously people that dont follow the cowboys and just listen to national media. Getting Mcclain cost Dallas nothing. If he plays Dallas gives Baltimore a 6th rd pick in exchange for a 7th. Well worth it for. team that lost their starting mlb and for a former 8th overall pick with Nick Saban’s endorsement. Had the patriots made this move everyone would be saying what a great move if was. Someone else said Durant was a career backup. The guy has started 74 games in his 7 year career. You do the math…Also Bruce Carter had 100 tackles last season. Yea he wasnt great in coverage. He had one bad game where woodhead lit him up. But go look at games when Carter was not playing. See how bad they missed his athleticism. He makes plays. Wilber is not going back to being a defensive end. They said their linebackers will rotate but Wilber will have times where hes rushing the passer on 3rd down. Utilizing his best assets. Stop trashing teams because you dont like them without some in depth knowledge. Ignorant America…

  27. JSpicoli says: Sep 1, 2014 3:49 PM

    This guy put in more miles jogging in OAK than Zola Bud did in her career.

  28. 88xfactor says: Sep 1, 2014 3:53 PM

    Hope to hear from all you haters after Sept 7th. Don’t be shy. Yal come back now ya’hear!! LOL!

  29. turnipthedragonknight says: Sep 1, 2014 4:07 PM

    He couldn’t have been that bad if Ozzie Newsome took a chance on him. Very low risk for Cowboys high reward.

  30. txraiderfan says: Sep 1, 2014 4:22 PM

    The court in Alabama put “Slowlando” on a work release program?

  31. laxcoach37 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:04 PM

    When it comes to the Cowboys Defense and especially LB’s: “Beggar’s can’t be Choosers”. Good Luck with that!

  32. crawfish2011 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:14 PM

    This dude was frying bacon at Waffle House a few months ago and now he’s a starting linebacker in the NFL? Wow!! The Cowboys have fallen. 3-13 confirmed

  33. hdl62 says: Sep 1, 2014 5:40 PM

    When it comes to the Cowboys why do we have sooooooo many HATERS I guess if we suck or will go forward we will always have HATERS no matter what wow…..

  34. xbam1 says: Sep 1, 2014 6:30 PM

    Next Stop Superbowl!! chumps….

  35. roylp says: Sep 1, 2014 7:16 PM

    Haha haha the Dallas Cowboys and the team of misfits on Defense.

  36. njraiderfan19 says: Sep 1, 2014 9:13 PM

    Rolando will hit the stuffing out of anyone he can catch.

    In other words, O-linemen. I’m not even sure it’s a question of physical tools; I think his rookie contract ruined him.

  37. bhindenemylines says: Sep 1, 2014 9:19 PM

    700levelvet says:
    Sep 1, 2014 2:19 PM
    The.”Most mediocre franchise in sports”…

    Says the redskins fan who had watched him team record the WORST record in the NFL over the last 20 Years.

    And a 700 level vet? Quit your job at Walmart, get a job at Target, and get seats in the 500 level for a few bucks more a game.

    RG3years and then washing cars…

  38. simonator917 says: Sep 1, 2014 9:30 PM

    When he was first drafted I thot it was an excellent choice. I also thot Khalil Mack was an excellent choice. I just hope Mack is nothing like McClain.

    Also, I hope he gets it together. A damn shame if he doesn’t.

  39. shalakka says: Sep 1, 2014 9:40 PM

    This just shows what a great GM Jerry is.
    Jimmy’s got nothing on Jerry. Jerry’s got an eye for talent.
    Just look at the past 20ys since Jimmy.

  40. allheart63 says: Sep 1, 2014 10:45 PM

    All u cowboys haters must not know football we were one game from playoffs with scrubs on dfence. 5 -1 in the east and yes we have i said just cowboys haters……

  41. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Sep 2, 2014 9:54 AM

    to those wondering why the cowboys attract what are described as “haters”, i can think of a few reasons, among which are

    Jerry “I am the coach, g.m., owner, and head spokesman of an overhyped mediocre circus” Jones

    the caliber of folks all over the country who jumped on the dallas bandwagon during either the tom landry or jimmy johnson era but who haven’t yet figured out jerry’s flim-flam.

  42. jlbutler66 says: Sep 2, 2014 10:20 AM

    Desperate times make strange bed fellows. Going to be ugly to watch as Jerry tries to put a positive spin on the worst disaster since Custer’s Last stand but at least every one will get paid whether they are standing or not in this case although the results we be the same our defense will get slaughtered.

  43. alongthegulf says: Sep 2, 2014 11:33 AM

    It is, what it is. Jerry has dedicated his resources to the offense. Most of the salary cap money is spent building the offensive. Defense is an afterthought in Jerry’s World. Jerry idea of defense is to throw mud at a wall, then hopes some if it sticks. Jerry believes fans will continue to pay to see his offense, so there is no need to play solid defense. So far, fans have proven him right as they continue to flock into Jerry’s World.

  44. r8rsfan says: Sep 2, 2014 1:07 PM

    Cowboy fans are gonna love watching this guy jog around staying just far enough away to not make a play. His most famous play in the NFL is lighting up Darren Sproles – the smallest guy on the field. Physically gifted, has some instincts too, but the motor is inconsistent and he’s too disinterested to have much mental game.

  45. mwanning says: Sep 3, 2014 1:46 PM

    For all those dogging on McClain – I have followed career since his days at Alabama. If you ever looked at his personal life as a child and young teenager, the miracle is not how he acted but that he did not climb onto a tower and start shooting. Mother is nuts and he was homeless all through high school, then his family abused his NFL money. Plus he really viewed football as a means to a degree but never loved the game. Finally left NFL and moved back to Tuscaloosa and the only safe place he had known – University of Alabama. Now with his college degree, time and a new outlook on life and football, it is back to the NFL. He has the talent and more important the brains to be a great one. If he now has his life in order and has the dedication to football, then down the road his name will be in the Dallas ring of honor.

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