A fuller picture of the terms of the Cowboys’ trade for linebacker Rolando McClain has begun to emerge.
Let’s break it down.
For starters, Baltimore and Dallas have an agreement in place to trade seventh-round selections in 2016, the Cowboys said Wednesday.
However, according to Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas, there are conditions on this exchange of seventh-rounders.
Per ESPN Dallas, McClain will have to be on the Cowboys’ active 46-player roster at least three times in 2014 or on the 53-player roster at least five times this season for a deal to occur. If this doesn’t happen, the Ravens can’t get a seventh-rounder from Dallas.
Moreover, there are conditions tied to the 2014 records of Dallas and Baltimore. If Dallas has a better record than Baltimore, there is no swapping of seventh-rounders, even if McClain meets the roster conditions, according to Archer.
And now, the biggie: what about the possibility of the Cowboys’ 2015 sixth-round pick going to Baltimore for McClain? Could the Ravens really get a sixth-rounder for a player who never played for them?
According to the Cowboys, the sixth-rounder will only be sent to Baltimore if McClain plays at least 50 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014. In that case, the Cowboys will give up the sixth-round selection and receive the Ravens’ 2015 seventh-rounder in return.
In all, McClain probably has to be a starter for the Ravens to get the sixth-round pick. Short of that, he’ll have to make the Cowboys for multiple weeks for the base portion of the deal — the seven-for-seven swap — to be in play. And if the Ravens are worse that the Cowboys, the seventh-round deal is off the table, anyways.