The Dallas Cowboys linebacking group took a hit before training camp even opened when middle linebacker Sean Lee went down with an ACL injury and was ruled out for the season.
That had the Cowboys digging deep for help, and that included giving the troubled Rolando McClain a shot. McClain, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, has been criticized in his brief NFL career but he is earning the praise of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.
“I have liked what he’s done so far,” Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s in shape. That was one of the initial things we had to monitor, what kind of football shape he was in, and he was able to handle reps physically right away. He’s smart. He picks things up very quickly in meetings and is able to translate it on the field.
“It’s easy to see why he was a top 10 pick in the draft coming out of school. We talk about the success he had at Alabama, that kind of a program, the kind of games he played in, the kind of leader he was for them. I think you see a lot of those traits. Now, it’s really early and he’s probably practiced four or five days with us and he has a long way to go, but he’s really kind of stepped into this situation and it seems like he’s taking advantage of this opportunity. You see a lot of really good traits both physically and otherwise.”