Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys are giving absent linebacker Rolando McClain some slack

Rolando McClain’s play has earned him special consideration in the off-season.
Rolando McClain’s play has earned him special consideration in the off-season. Star-Telegram

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain remains absent from the Dallas Cowboys off-season workouts.

He has missed all the on-field team activities and a flustered coach Jason Garrett doesn’t know if he will be present for the mandatory minicamp next week.

“Rolando’s dealing with a family situation in Alabama,” Garrett said. “We’ve been in touch with him, but he has not been here.”

Garrett believes in practice and wants McClain at all the workouts with the rest of his teammates.

However, the veteran linebacker has been given slack to miss by owner Jerry Jones.

The “family” situation McClain is dealing with is not an emergency, but rather his preference to spend time with his kids who live in Alabama and not in Dallas.

It’s the same reason McClain was absent from the voluntary workout last year though he did show up for the mandatory minicamp.

“His off-season is spent with those boys,” Jones said Wednesday on 105.3 The Fan. “That’s an understanding we have when he came through that door. He has to be there to spend time with them.”

Certainly, there are many players who have kids in other cities who make it to OTAs and minicamp. This is not a situation exclusive to McClain, but Jones said this is a deal the Cowboys made with him when they signed him three years ago.

Jones said McClain gets "slack" and "special consideration" because of the impact he has on the field.

“He gets slack,” Jones said. “You have to earn special consideration. You have to look at his impact and what he can do for your team. I’m glad he is a Cowboy. Certainly, there are no surprises with Rolando.”

While the OTAs are voluntary, he will be fined up to $76,580 if he doesn’t show for the mandatory workouts next week.

The fine for missing the first day is $12,765. It increases to $25,525 for the second day and $38,290 for the third day.

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