Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain faces a year suspension, a source confirmed Sunday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report McClain’s missed drug test.
Because McClain has appealed the suspension, the league has not officially informed the Cowboys of the missed test, the source said. The league counts a missed test as a positive test.
The Cowboys will not release McClain in an attempt to recoup the signing bonus. They re-signed McClain to a one-year, $4 million contract, including a $750,000 signing bonus, on March 9. The league first suspended McClain on June 30 for testing positive for opiates.
Owner Jerry Jones wouldn’t allow much after his team’s 27-17 victory other than to confirm the Cowboys won’t release McClain.
“I can’t talk about anything because I’m not allowed to know anything about his testing, and so that’s all I can say there, and we won’t release him, and when he’s eligible he’ll be a part of this team,” Jones said. “He had gotten in good shape, and so we’ll just deal with what we find out with his status with the league.”
Suspended for 10 games, McClain was eligible to return to practice Monday and play Thursday.
“Our plans were for him to be eligible and thought he could be a real addition to our defense,” Jones said. “But under the circumstances I don’t want to comment in detail.”
McClain has remained absent from The Star and does not have a locker at the facility. The Cowboys placed him on the reserve/did not report list when he failed to report to training camp.
McClain has not been with the Cowboys since a mandatory June minicamp. Jones, though, said last week McClain still has a desire to play and is in great shape after weighing 285 pounds in the spring.
If the year-long suspension stands, McClain can apply for reinstatement in November 2017.
Arriving in a trade with Baltimore after retiring and sitting out the 2013 season, McClain made 23 starts, with 167 tackles, three interceptions, three defensed passes and three sacks.