Rolando McClain made his presence felt in his preseason debut with the Dallas Cowboys this past weekend. Playing against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, McClain racked up six tackles and a forced fumble against Justin Forsett in the second quarter.
The Cowboys, who were among the worst defensive teams in the league last year, are in desperate need of a spark on defense after losing Sean Lee to injury for the season and Orlando Scandrick for four games following his violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
With McClain’s impact evident in his first game with the Cowboys, the coaches are delighted with what they see. In fact, according to a report from the Dallas News, McClain will be practicing with the first team this week and will have a shot to win the starting middle linebacker role.
“At the end of the day, we need to find our best three linebackers and the best combination of guys to start for us in base,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told the Dallas News. “He’s certainly warranting an opportunity to compete for one of those spots in there.”
McClain, who is only 25 years old, has retired twice already in his short NFL career. When he got on the field sporting the Cowboys jersey, it was his first game action since November 2012.
Although McClain may have taken some time off from the NFL, his athleticism and ability to play at the highest level is clearly there. In fact, he did not show any signs of slowing down or any rust coming back from such a long layoff. If McClain can win the starting job, he can prove to be a huge asset for the Cowboys this season.