Rolando McClain could still very well prove himself worthy of a roster spot. If his comeback ultimately proves fruitful, though, it won't come with the Dallas Cowboys. McClain was released by the Cowboys on Monday, according to Pro Football Talk, mere days after he was conditionally reinstated by the NFL.
Cowboys will release LB Rolando McClain per source. He'll be a free agent, able to sign with any team.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 2, 2019
McClain was reinstated by the NFL on a conditional basis on Thursday. He was suspended indefinitely by the league in 2016 for another failed drug test, which prompted him to step away from the game for good, retiring just six years after being selected with the No. 8 overall pick of the 2010 draft.
The 29-year-old announced his plans to return to football this summer, though, saying that he was “nowhere near satisfied” with how his professional career came to a close.
As McClain last played for the Cowboys, who drafted him after an iconic career at the University of Alabama, they retained his rights upon his reinstatement. It was always unlikely Dallas would hold onto McClain, however, given both the need for him to re-acclimate to the speed of the NFL game and his relatively hefty price tag for 2019 of $5 million.
McClain's finest NFL season came in 2011, when he posted 100 tackles, five sacks, and 11 passes defensed. Earmarked as a perennial Pro Bowler, the progress he made after an underwhelming rookie campaign was beset by multiple injuries to his lower body. McClain had a surprise surgery on his knee in the 2015 offseason, and underwent surgery again a year later to address a hip impingement issue.
He is now a free agent.