The Dallas Cowboys list Rolando McClain as questionable on their official injury report, but the middle linebacker will play, owner Jerry Jones said.
McClain re-injured his groin during last week’s game against the Houston Texans and was limited in practice Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.
“He’s going to play,” Jones said on his weekly radio show on 105.3/KRLD FM. “…We need him obviously. He’s a leader. I know last week at practice, he undressed one of our young receivers out there and just kind of blew the smoke off the end [of his gun], stuck his gun back in the holster. Just walked on back up to the line of scrimmage, ‘Let’s go!’ Everybody’s eyes got big. He said, ‘Now, bring Houston on! Let’s go!’ He can be a difference-maker. Of course, you’ve got to back it up, but his body language, just his approach to the thing is real inspirational to the team.”
McClain has been nursing several injuries in his first season with the Cowboys as he continues to get into football shape after twice retiring and sitting out last season.
When he’s been on the field, McClain has made a noticeable difference. He brings a much-needed physicality to the team, which the Cowboys will need against the Seattle Seahawks and their power running game behind Marshawn Lynch.
“You want to make sure the player is physically capable of doing what you’re asking him to do,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday.
“He’s certainly a guy that when he’s out there, has a presence on our defense. He’s really grasping a leadership role not only with his performance but also just the demeanor he plays with.”
The Cowboys will leave earlier than usual Saturday to practice in Seattle.
The team charter departs at noon, with an afternoon walk-through at the University of Washington instead of at the team facility at Valley Ranch.
“We just decided to get out there earlier,” Garrett said. “It’s a little bit of a longer flight, so get the players out there, get them acclimated and go do our walk-through out there.”
Since the start of the 2007 season, the Cowboys are 1-6 in games played in Denver, Arizona, Seattle or California. Their only win was a 27-24 overtime victory over the 49ers in San Francisco in 2011.
Bailey making history
Dan Bailey needs one more field goal to qualify as the NFL’s all-time leader in percentage.
He has made 99 of 109 kicks in his career, with his 90.8 percent accuracy ahead of Mike Vanderjagt’s 86.5.
Vanderjagt, who spent part of the 2006 season in Dallas, made 230 of 266 career kicks.
“For the most part, it’s kind of a non-factor, just because … in my head I want to play for another 10 years or so,” Bailey said. “That’s plenty of time to rack up some kicks and points and all that stuff, so it’s kind of irrelevant at this point. Obviously, you want to go out there and perform well, and you want to set high expectations for yourself so anytime that’s reflected, whether it’s stats or feedback from your peers or anything like that, I guess it’s a positive thing.”
Jack Crawford pulled his calf in Thursday’s practice, forcing him to miss Friday’s practice.
The defensive end is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Seattle.
Linebacker Bruce Carter (thigh) will not play. Linebacker Cameron Lawrence (thigh) and offensive tackle Jermey Parnell (chest) are listed as questionable.
Receiver Dez Bryant (shoulder), defensive tackle Henry Melton (calf), cornerback Tyler Patmon (illness), quarterback Tony Romo (back) and defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee) are probable.
Spencer missed practice Friday as he has since he returned to practicing after microfracture surgery on his left knee last October.