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Rolando McClain’s absence raises eyebrows in Dallas

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys

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Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain is skipping Organized Team Activities, and some in Dallas are wondering whether that should be a cause for concern.

Stephen Jones, the team’s executive vice president, acknowledged when asked about McClain that the team would like to see him attend voluntary practices.

“You always want everybody here. Certainly I know coach Garrett wants everybody here, 100-percent attendance. And it’s certainly disappointing when they’re not here,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News.

The paper also reported that there’s a sense around the team that “more is going on with Rolando than meets the eye,” although there were no specifics about what exactly that means. McClain had a series of off-field problems that led to the Raiders cutting him in 2013, and he sat out that year after announcing he would retire. His retirement lasted only a year before he returned to the NFL with the Cowboys. Last year he was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

McClain signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys in March. When they drafted linebacker Jaylon Smith in the second round of the draft, that was an indication that they expect Smith (who needs this year to recover from a knee injury) to become McClain’s replacement, and Dallas does not intend to re-sign McClain after this year.