Jerry Jones says Rolando McClain wants to return to Dallas but won’t discuss details
Rolando McClain is eligible to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys next week, but Jerry Jones said the suspended linebacker will not do so.
Jones said McClain has stayed in shape while serving a 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and wants to play again, but the Cowboys owner would not say whether McClain might be welcomed back to the Cowboys this season or after, when he’ll be a free agent.
"Rolando is really somebody who helped us when he was here, but I really don’t want to get into when or if he might be joining us," Jones told reporters Thursday. "Yes, he does want to play, but there is more detail that I’m not going to get into right now."
Jones has a long track record of giving second (and third) chances to troubled players. He recently said he was "not giving up" on defensive end Randy Gregory, who’s been suspended all season for drugs and reportedly faces a yearlong ban for failing another test.
However, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that while Gregory still has a locker at the Cowboys’ headquarters, McClain does not.
Coach Jason Garrett told reporters he has not spoken to McClain and would not comment on his future with the team.
“We’re focused on the players that we have here,” Garrett said.
McClain was a key member of Dallas’ defense the past two seasons, with 161 tackles in 24 games. But he showed up to minicamp out of shape, was suspended by the NFL — he reportedly had become addicted to "purple drank" — and didn’t report to training camp. Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News reports that McClain is past the "purple drank" problem, but the Cowboys likely won’t mess with the chemistry they’ve developed during their NFL-best 8-1 start.