INDIANAPOLIS – He's been an enigmatic presence in Dallas for two seasons, and Rolando McClain once again looms as one of the Cowboys' biggest question marks this offseason.
The hulking middle linebacker is once again set for free agency this spring after playing out the one-year, $3 million contract he signed last year. To hear it from team executive vice president Stephen Jones, he's a piece the Cowboys want to have back in 2016.
"We'd like to have him back. We'll be working on that," Jones said Wednesday from the NFL Combine.
McClain has been one of the Cowboys' toughest players to gauge since he returned from retirement to man the middle of their defense in 2014. He has flashed plenty of the dominant talent that made him a top-10 draft pick in 2010, posting 167 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions in two seasons.
He has also been hampered by various injury issues during his time in Dallas. Concussions have forced him out of three separate games in the past two years, and his 2015 offseason was limited by a knee injury that required surgery. McClain also missed the first four weeks of last season due to an NFL suspension.
It all helps explain why McClain can simultaneously be a valued starter for a playoff contender, yet only command a one-year contract on the open market. Having reviewed his second campaign with the team, however, Jones said he thought McClain was much more reliable in his second go-around.
"I think he was. I think he was productive, and I think he's finding a niche here and hopefully we can figure something out," he said. "We'll be visiting with his agents while we're here."