McClain trade could cost Cowboys nothing

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
11:50
AM ET

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys could end up giving the Baltimore Ravens nothing in the trade for linebacker Rolando McClain.

According to multiple sources, if McClain, who was acquired Tuesday, does not make the team or is not on the Cowboys' 53-man roster for five games or 46-man game-day roster for three games in 2014, then the Ravens will not receive any compensation.

As it stands right now, the trade calls for the Cowboys to give up their seventh-rounder in 2016 if McClain is on the 53-man roster for five games or 46-man roster for three games only if their pick is better than the Ravens' pick in the round. If it is, then the teams will swap selections. If the Ravens finish with a worse record in 2014, then there is no swap.

If McClain plays in 50 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014, then the Ravens would receive the Cowboys' sixth-round pick in 2015 and the Cowboys would receive Baltimore’s seventh-round pick in 2015. McClain has not played since November 2012, but the Cowboys could look at him as a replacement for Sean Lee, who is out for the year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He could also be in the mix as a strongside linebacker.

The Cowboys would gladly give up a low-round pick if McClain, a former first-round pick in 2010 of the Oakland Raiders, is a starter even for just one year.

McClain did not receive any guaranteed money in the one-year deal he signed with the Cowboys.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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