Roughly a week into resuming his career, Cowboys middle linebacker Roland McClain is already gettng first-team reps.
McClain, who missed 2013 while in retirement, worked with the starters at times Saturday in the regular defense and during goal-line drills.
McClain still has a long way to go and with lot of catching up to do to become a regular with the Cowboys. But the 2010 eighth overall pick with the Oakland Raiders has made a good first impression with the Cowboys.
“I have liked what he’s done so far. He’s in shape,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s smart. He picks things up very quickly in meetings and is able to translate it on the field. It’s easy to see why he was a top-10 pick in the draft coming out of school. Now, it’s really early and he’s probably practiced four or five days with us, and he has a long way to go, but he’s really kind of stepped into this situation, and it seems like he’s taking advantage of this opportunity. You see a lot of really good traits both physically and otherwise.”
McClain, 25, who was acquired in trade from the Baltimore Ravens in July and was talked into playing by his young children, is taking nothing for granted this time. He is not worried about breaking in the starting lineup. He is just focused on playing football again after not playing in a game since 2012.
“I got a steep hill ahead of me, and I’m just climbing,” McClain said. “We’ve still got a lot more training camp left, so I’m focused on that. So far it’s been good, just learning everything on the fly, trying to figure out what I can and just play fast to the best I can. The guys have been doing a great job setting examples how to work as far as what’s expected so I’m just trying to fall into that; do the best I can. It’s been a while since I played a game, but I’m just trying to do the best I can so far. Just trying to make plays and see what happens from there.”