IRVING, Texas -- While the Dallas Cowboys have not made a decision on whether they will attempt to keep Greg Hardy from free agency, executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team wants to keep Rolando McClain and Morris Claiborne.
Like Hardy, McClain and Claiborne are set to become free agents in March, but the Cowboys will meet with their agents this week at the scouting combine in an attempt to keep them off the market.
“All of this is a function of price with our guys, for the most part,” Jones said. “Obviously Greg’s a different situation. At the end of the day we have to make a decision there, but the rest of the guys it’s all going to be a function of price.”
McClain missed the first four games last season due to a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He missed another game late in the season because of a concussion but he finished the season with 97 tackles, which was third on the team according to the coaches’ breakdown. He also had two sacks, nine tackles for loss, 10 quarterback pressures and one interception.
Jones said he believed McClain was more reliable in his second year with the Cowboys.
“I think he was productive and I think he’s finding his niche here and hopefully we can figure something out,” Jones said.
Claiborne did not live up to the expectations in his first four years after the Cowboys moved up to select him with the sixth pick of the 2012 draft, but Jones said 2015 was “his best year.”
Claiborne did not have an interception and missed five games with hamstring and ankle injuries. He has three interceptions in four seasons and missed 24 games due to injury.
“He had his best offseason and had his best year and I think sometimes it takes time for younger players to really figure it out in terms of what it takes to be a pro in this league,” Jones said.
Claiborne’s future could be tied into what the Cowboys do with Brandon Carr. He is set to count $13.8 million against the cap in the final year of a five-year, $50 million deal. Jones said the Cowboys will meet with his agent, as well.
“Obviously when you’re making that kind of money you subject yourself to some discussions,” Jones said, “so obviously we’ve done that and we’ll continue to do that.”