Finally, The Dallas Cowboys Keep One Of Their Own


Dec 4, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain (55) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

For several weeks, I thought the Dallas Cowboys had lost their way, lost their mind. They were allowing player after player to walk in Free Agency. Players that were key contributors to the success of the 2014 season. Guys who helped the Cowboys win the NFC East and prove every NFL expert wrong. From Sterling Moore to Henry Melton to the infamous traitor DeMarco Murray (Benedict Murray), the Cowboys were letting everyone walk.

That’s just a few.

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Bruce Carter, Justin Durant, Dwayne Harris, George Selvie, and Jeremy Parnell all went to other teams. They were all vital to the Cowboys’ success. The Cowboys didn’t seem to care who they let walk away. Hell, I thought they were going let their mascot, Rowdy”, walk away, too.

After allowing so many players to go, even the most positive and die hard Cowboys’ fans were wondering what was going on. Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, the most beloved Cowboys lover you will ever meet, said that the Cowboys should have over paid for Murray because the team needed Murray to win a Super Bowl. Irving questioned the direction of the Cowboys.

Well the Cowboys are going in the right direction because they finally won a key battle in Free Agency.

And common sense kicked in.

The Cowboys were able to lock up Rolando McClain. McClain signed a one year deal worth $3 million in base salary and another $1 million in play-time incentives. Last week, I wrote an article about the importance of re-signing McClain and what he brought to the defense.

Without McClain manning the middle like a mad bull, and with the loss of Carter and Durant, along with injury prone Sean Lee, the Cowboys linebacking  corps looked  mediocre at best. And that’s with the upcoming Anthony Hitchens. No disrespect to Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar, and Keith Rivers, but like I said last week, they are backups and special team players. That’s why the Cowboys are happy to have re-signed Mcclain.

Here is another reason the Cowboys wanted McClain.

According to Pro Football Focus’, its metrics system ranked McClain as the best run-stopping Middle Linebacker in 2014. PFF also had McClain ranked as an outstanding pass rusher. PFF had McClain ranked high in tackling and coverage, too. In 13 games, he finished second on the team with 87 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble and a sack.

And he finished second in the Comeback Player of the Year voting, won by Rob Gronkowski.

Please put this in perspective.

McClain played this good after being out of football for 18 months. No training or mini camps. Pure and raw talent. Forget he’s going to be suspended for four games. Because Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots wanted him, too. The Patriots even offered McClain a contract.

That’s all the proof you need if the defending Super Bowl Champions want McClain with a four game suspension all but certain. He’s that valuable. So valuable that the Cowboys allowed Carter and Durant to leave without even offering them a contract. The Cowboys got him at a decent price, too, but at a price that will motivate him to show he’s not a one season wonder.

That he can duplicate his outstanding season again. But what the Cowboys really see is McClain anchoring down this defense with Sean Lee for many years to come. They see him as the cornerstone to a defense that is only going to get better under Rod Marinelli’s guidance.

The Cowboys allowed Murray to test the FA market and lost him to the Eagles. A really good running back that led the league in rushing and helped the Cowboys win the NFC East.

McClain visited the Patriots and was offered a similar deal like the one he signed with the Cowboys. But instead of losing him to the defending Super Bowl Champs, he re-signed with the home team.

Finally, the Cowboys were able to keep one their own.

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