According to Mr. Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain is missing practice on Wednesday because ... who knows? Mr. Hill Tweeted: "Ro sitting out practice surely has Cowboys wondering if they can count on him_ body and mind."
Maybe his dog ate his homework.
This is one day after Cowboys owner/president/GM Jerry Jones told New School on 105.3 The Fan that "I do think that we’ve got a chance to pull one out of our hat with McClain. Are we looking for it? Yes. Do we wonder about him? Yes. By the same token, an old adage in this league is when somebody has once been a blue player, a blue, not just Cowboys blue, but blue in general, then look for him to be a good player again. Doesn’t mean he’s going to be, but he can be. … I’m pretty pleased with his progress."
Former Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said when it comes to acquiring a player like McClain - a former first round pick - is worth doing because at some point somebody thought highly of him. It was former Raiders owner Al Davis who passed this advice along to Parcells, who would constantly turn over the bottom of a roster looking for anybody.
To look at players like McClain is wise.
To count on players like McClain is dangerous.
In the middle of the 2005 season, Parcells brought in offensive tackle Marc Colombo for a look because he had been a first round pick before knee injuries set back his development. The Cowboys signed Colombo as a project with zero expectations.
After he rebuilt his knee, Colombo turned into a reliable right tackle for five seasons with the Cowboys, and an additional year for the Dolphins before he retired.
The Cowboys have done this before long before Parcells' arrival. The two that jump to mind are defensive linemen Dimitrius Underwood and Alonzo Spellman. Both of these players, signed in '99 and '00 respectively, were former first round picks that had been let go by previous teams.
Both had serious mental problems, and neither did too much with the Cowboys. Spellman has been diagnosed as bipolor, and has been in out of rehab for mental disorder. His is a sad story.
This year's haul includes McClain, a former first round pick who has retired a couple of times and had trouble with the law, defensive lineman Amobi Okoye, defensive end Anthony Spencer, defensive tackle Henry Melton.
Three of the four are former first round picks - Melton was a fourth. It would be fine if the Cowboys did not necessarily need any of these four players to make a difference. The problem for these Cowboys is that they need these guys if their defense is going to be any different.
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