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Cramps keep McClain from practicing

8/20/2014

Rolando McClain, given an opportunity to win the starting position at middle linebacker, missed Wednesday morning's practice with muscle cramps.

He had a similar issue at the end of practice on Tuesday, according to Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, and it continued this morning.

Garrett said he hoped McClain could participate in the afternoon walk-through practice.

"It's not an uncommon thing when you come back and start practicing in Texas," Garrett said. "You're always dealing with that balance -- anybody who has ever played any kind of a sport deals with that. Does it just hurt or is it an injury? Am I making it worse by practicing? All those questions come up every day with every player."

McClain, acquired in a trade just before the start of training camp with the Baltimore Ravens, has impressed the Cowboys with his talent. He's a big, physical linebacker who would certainly help one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

But he's also retired from the Oakland Raiders and Ravens in the past year and didn't play last season. Still, he remains an intriguing player and the Cowboys would love for him to win the starting job, which would allow them to play Justin Durant at weakside linebacker, while limiting Bruce Carter to nickel situations.

There have been questions about McClain's commitment to the game since he arrived. He has done little to answer them.

"We're going to take his situation just like everybody's situation -- day by day - and we'll give him a chance to go through the meetings and walk-through this afternoon and come out and practice tomorrow. We'll continue our evaluation of him and do what's best for our football team in regards to him and everybody else."