According to multiple reports, the Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a trade with the Baltimore Ravens to acquire the rights to Rolando McClain. McClain, currently retired, would come in and could end up playing a prominent role at middle linebacker in the Cowboys defense, if he decides to come back to the NFL. The Cowboys also sent a 6th round pick to the Ravens who sent back a 7th.
The Cowboys also announced that Sean Lee, who suffered an ACL tear in minicamp, was officially being placed on injured reserve to make space for McClain. The Ravens moved up a round in the draft for the cost of a player that was not even playing for them. McClain does plan to play this year as pointed out here:
Pat Dye, Rolando McClain’s agent, told me that the former Butkus Award winner and Raiders first-rounder fully intends to play this season
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) July 1, 2014
McClain was an unusual busts as a series of issues on and off the field made what was to be the centerpiece of the Raiders defense a total disaster. The Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome had brought in his fellow Alabama alum in trying to make him into a reclamation project, but it simply did not work and McClain retired.
McClain is one of the more high profile disasters to come out of Alabama in recent years, but is not for the usual reasons. Most of them fail because of injuries and simply being worn down from their time in Tuscaloosa while McClain just got to the NFL and never looked like he belonged. It is not a huge risk for the Cowboys as they simply move down from the 6th round to the 7th round with one of their picks, but it does paint the picture of a desperate team. The Cowboys were at one point also linked to Brian Urlacher, who had retired. It is probably a good thing that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is so proud of the fact his team is relevant without ever having to be any good as this defense goes from bad to worse this year.