Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys don’t plan on suspended LB Rolando McClain returning soon

Rolando McClain isn’t expected to return when suspension is lifted.
Rolando McClain isn’t expected to return when suspension is lifted. Special to Star-Telegram

Linebacker Rolando McClain’s 10-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy is over after Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

But don’t look for him to return to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday or any time soon, owner Jerry Jones said.

“His status will remain how it is today,” Jones said. “He will remain as he is today. And I don’t have a lot more to say about this.”

According to Jones, McClain is in shape and wants to play football again.

“I’ve communicated with him several times in the offseason and talked to him on the phone,” Jones said. “Yes he does want to play. But there is more detail that I’m not going to get in to.”

It all raises the question of whether the streaking Cowboys (8-1) even want him back, especially considering team chemistry has been such a huge part of their success in running out to the best record in the NFL.

Unlike Jones, coach Jason Garrett said he has had no contact with McClain.

“We’re focused on the players that we have here,” Garrett said.

Garrett also refused to answer whether McClain would be a Cowboys player in 2016.

“Again, we’re just focused on the guys who are on our football team right now,” Garrett said.

McClain missed the majority of the off-season program before showing up for minicamp out of shape. He didn’t take part in any drills.

He was then suspended by the league in July for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

McClain didn’t report to training camp and was placed on the reserve/did not report list. Per the collective bargaining agreement, McClain was subject to daily fines of $40,000.

He also was fined an additional game check $73,529 for missing the first preseason game.

Per the collective bargaining agreement, McClain could be working with the team in the weight room and participating in meetings during his suspension.

Suspended defensive end Randy Gregory is here and has a locker at the team’s new headquarters at The Star in Frisco. McClain does not.

McClain is a premier run defender. But Anthony Hitchens and Justin Durant have alternated at middle linebacker this year for a defense that ranks 12th overall and third against the run.

Do the Cowboys want McClain back?

“Rolando is somebody who helped us when he was here,” Jones said. “I really don’t want to get into when or if he might be joining us.”

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram