Lurking Inside The Cowboys Locker…

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain will have his hands full on Sundays. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain will have his hands full on Sundays. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Will Martin

When the NFL schedules were announced back in April the majority of fans began to ponder what kind of travel shall be involved.

They probably then begin to ponder the strength of schedule as the thoughts now switch to what fantasy picks will need to be made.

To say nothing about how many of the ten games (two by exhibition) a season ticket holder shall attend.

Then the stress and the panic of a season to come will fester for a good six months while watching all the recaps, reviews, and previews of the season that just was.

With all that said we know what fans have a tendency to do in determining the good, the bad, and the ugly for an upcoming season.

One can only wonder what the majority of the fans of Americas Team-the Dallas Cowboys-were thinking when seeing the strength of schedule and the teams that they’ll lead off with this month.

Beginning this Sunday with the 49ers, the team with a lot of great history against the Cowboys.

Labor Day I was able to spend some time at Valley Ranch while getting to hear from many a Cowboys player about the season to come.

That being said there is a lot of concern of just how poorly the defense will perform in 2014. 32nd ranked last year. Can it get any worse? One player many of the Silver and Blue Brass is pinning his hopes on will in all likelihood be the starter at middle linebacker.

Enigmatic, mercurial. funny. Insightful, with some off-field issues that he has tired of talking about we begin with an interesting discussion with Alabama standout Rolando McClain.

In the event there is any confusion over what McClain was busying denying/downplaying there was a moment in the Labor Day drills were I was running videotape of a blocking drill where I caught McClain doing a blocking routine and there was a knee tweak. He stopped practicing for a while but insists he’ll be okay. This was the incident in question (he lets loose on an F bomb).

There was another drill that was run not long after and Rolando McClain was not partaking. Draw your own conclusions as to whether or not he can help this team. With the signing of Michael Sam as a practice squad player as of September 3, many feel that Sam could perhaps provide a service to the defense: A Pass Rush! We shall see.

One ballplayer who is ready to rock and roll into this 2014 season is an acquisition from the Chicago Bear fresh off knee surgery over the off-season. a player who many believe could be an impact player on the D line. He was wearing a Dallas Stars hat so that had him in my good graces. We now speak of Henry Melton and now Henry addressed the assembled throng.

One of the great things about being at the start of a season is also seeing the kids who were on the bubble who made the final 53. To see an actual smile on the faces of some of these kids is priceless. When a dream comes true for a person, an athlete you name it you can’t help but be happy for the person and for the effort put forth.

Since the beginning of OTAs last May I noticed how many people were fawning over this kid from Texas A&M Western. Six and a half feet tall. A great interview and showed quite the ability in games against the Chargers and Ravens during preseason. We wondered whether Jason Garrett would go with a three QB set or stick with Tony Romo and Brandon Weeden.

We got the answer on August 30 at the deadline. Dustin Vaughn made the band of 53 players. Let’s listen in on how the process happened, or didn’t happen.

With space constraints being what they are we’ll stop for now and show more locker room visits as the days/weeks/months come ahead and give you a sense of what’s on the mind of the players here in Dallas Texas.