IRVING, Texas – The speculation surrounding Rolando McClain is bound to intensify, as the Cowboys linebacker missed practice Wednesday morning at Valley Ranch.
"At the end of practice yesterday he cramped up, and he was feeling the effects of that this morning when he came in, so it was the right decision not to have him out there," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
McClain and Tony Romo were the marquee absences of Wednesday's session – though one of those was expected between the two. This comes just one day after Garrett said McClain worked as the team's first-team linebacker during Tuesday practice.
McClain instead watched practice from inside the team's weight room at the facility, and Garrett expects him to participate in the off-field work.
"He'll be involved in meetings and walkthrough this afternoon, and hopefully we'll have him out there tomorrow," he said.
A variety of absences and setbacks have raised questions about McClain's passion to play. That undoubtedly stems from his history with Oakland and Baltimore, when he was released by the Raiders and retired twice during his time with the Ravens, before he was ultimately traded.
Garrett said he doesn't question McClain's desire to earn a starting job because he has seen him practice.
"He, like every player on our team, you have to do it again and again and again," Garrett said. "He's had some things that have sidetracked him here for a day or two throughout training camp, but obviously being out at practice and playing play-after-play, day-after-day, matters. Hopefully he'll have a chance to do that again starting tomorrow." Romo was present at practice, but he did not participate – which is in keeping with his schedule of off days while he recovers from back surgery.
Cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne were once again in full pads after returning to the field Tuesday. Fellow corner Sterling Moore was absent once again as he recovers from a groin problem.
The rest of the Cowboys' noted injuries – Henry Melton, DeVonte Holloman, Darrion Weems, Terrell McClain – were also absent.