Linebacker Rolando McClain has opted to stay in Alabama to rehab his right knee, rather than report to the Cowboys’ voluntary organized team activities.
Coach Jason Garrett said McClain and wide receiver Dez Bryant were the two notable players missing as OTAs wrapped up, the same two players who skipped most of the previous two weeks.
Garrett refused to speculate whether McClain would show up for the team’s mandatory minicamp next week.
“Rolando is doing a good job with his rehab, and we’ll see what his plans are for next week,” Garrett said. “I don’t want to get into much more detail than that.”
McClain, 24, resurrected his career with the Cowboys last season, providing a physical presence at middle linebacker. He constantly battled minor injuries throughout the season, and was limited in the playoffs with concussion-like symptoms.
The Cowboys re-signed McClain earlier this off-season to a one-year, $3 million deal. He received a $500,000 signing bonus with a $750,000 base salary as well as $1 million in playing-time incentives. He can also earn an extra $250,000 in a workout bonus.
Byrant has been the only other notable absentee from OTAs. He has yet to sign his franchise tag tender from the Cowboys for $12.8 million next season.
Bryant showed up sporadically during the first two weeks of OTAs, but Garrett said the star receiver “has not been here recently.”
Bryant is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he had 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and a franchise-record 16 touchdowns.
The defensive backs have certainly taken notice that Bryant isn’t on the field, as well.
As safety Barry Church said, “It’s a huge difference. The talking and his energy he brings to the practice – he gets everybody hyped. Even if it’s a Monday morning and everyone is like, ‘Man, I don’t feel like doing this stuff.’ He’s out there talking junk and he’s getting everyone fired up.
“We definitely miss his energy out there.”