Dallas Cowboys

Rolando McClain knew he had fourth-down stop right away

Linebacker Rolando McClain didn’t even wait to see where the official marked Rashad Jennings down on a fourth-and-2 late in the fourth quarter. He knew he stopped Jennings short of the first-down marker, essentially ending the game with 40 seconds left.

“I ran off the field,” McClain said, smiling.

But the initial spot would have given the Giants a first down and extended their drive. They only needed to get into field goal range to have a chance to tie the game and force overtime.

However, after further review, the officials determined that McClain had stopped Jennings just shy of a first down.

McClain said he knew where the sticks were and had one goal in mind: “Just tackle the ball carrier.”

It’s another impact play by McClain, who has resurrected his career with the Cowboys after flaming out as a top-10 pick with Oakland. McClain finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss, after not playing in Week 10 against Jacksonville in London.

McClain leads the Cowboys in tackles and tackles for loss.

“He’s an impact player and I mean that both ways,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “We’re a better team when we’ve got him, and boy, he impacts the opposing team when he’s out there playing against them. He’s a load. You feel better about your middle and you feel better about just the overall physicalness of your defense when you’ve got Rolando out there.”

Added safety Barry Church: “He’s one of the best linebackers we’ve had, if not the best. The sky’s the limit for that guy and our defense. He’s one of the leaders of our defense and he controls the middle well.”