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Mailbag: Why No Interest In Bringing Back McClain? Is Return Specialist On Team?

Why are the Cowboys not trying to re-sign Rolando McClain? I know he had issues but when he was healthy he was the best linebacker on the team. Pairing him with Hardy would be scary!

Nick: I certainly don't think they've closed the door on McClain but it doesn't seem like any of the teams are really blowing up the phones for him. The Cowboys have covered themselves at linebacker right now and seem to think Jasper Brinkley would be fine at the middle, moving Sean Lee to the weak side. They still have Anthony Hitchens who can play inside and Lee could always go back. So middle linebacker is seemingly covered. I agree that McClain would be another dynamic player on defense but relying on him isn't easy. Not only does he still have issues in his personal life, McClain didn't exactly convince the Cowboys his desire to play and passion for the game was at the highest level.

Bryan: Garrett didn't close the door on McClain but I am going to continue to stick with the thought that if this club wanted to get this deal done they could have done it weeks ago and that hasn't happened. They have Sean Lee that can play Mike plus Hitchens which might actually be his best position. They have also protected themselves with the signing of Jasper Brinkley so there are options there. I think the biggest problem with McClain is you are really not sure what you are going to get week-to-week not only on the practice field but in games as well.  

Would you think the kick returner and punt returner replacements for Harris are already on this roster or something that needs to be addressed in the draft?

Nick: The answer to that question might be "both." Yes, the Cowboys have capable returners on the roster right now, but finding someone in the draft is always a possibility. That's where they got Harris in the first place in the fifth round. But if no one is added, I can see Cole Beasley handling the punts. He'll be a safe catch back there but might not give you a lot of explosion for big returns. Then again, Harris didn't have a lot of those either last year. ON kickoffs, don't be shocked if Darren McFadden handles that. I can see the Cowboys adding another rookie tailback to the mix. If he's ready to start, McFadden could slide into that role of return specialist and third-down back. His contract even suggests that. If McFadden is the starter, maybe Dunbar or the rookie back gets a shot. Joseph Randle wouldn't be a bad option either.

Bryan: I could see them look outside the club for that returner. Guys like Ty Montgomery, Kenny Bell, JJ Nelson, Mario Alford, Jamison Crowder, Andre DeBose and Tyler Lockett are good options in this upcoming draft. All these guys could fill that role in my opinion.


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