Rolando McClain appeals conviction

Updated: July 25, 2014, 7:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DECATUR, Ala. -- A judge Friday convicted Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in his Alabama hometown and imposed an 18-day jail term that could interrupt the player's bid to restart his career.

[+] EnlargeRolando McClain
AP Photo/Kevin TerrellCowboys linebacker Rolando McClain, who hasn't played since 2012, is appealing his conviction.

Municipal Judge Billy Cook convicted McClain on the misdemeanor counts after a non-jury trial that lasted about three hours. McClain was accused of yelling an obscenity at police trying to arrest him during a disturbance in a crowded city park in 2013.

McClain won't have to report for his jail sentence until after an appeal is complete in state court. Cook also ordered McClain to pay $1,572 in fines and court costs. It's unclear how long an appeal might take.

The judge signed a document stating McClain, 25, was free to leave the state while challenging the conviction.

"My attitude is I think I ran into the only person in the entire state of Alabama that would convict Rolando McClain based on this evidence," defense attorney Harvey Steinberg said. "Unfortunately, it happened to be the judge."

The former Alabama Crimson Tide star maintained his innocence and said police arrested the wrong person. He's been arrested three times in Decatur since 2011.

McClain tried to delay the trial so he could attend the start of NFL training camp this week, but a judge refused.

The Cowboys acquired the rights to McClain from Baltimore on July 1. He was the eighth overall pick by Oakland in 2010 but hasn't played since 2012.

McClain is currently headed to Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, and the anticipation is he will practice on Saturday.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he was unsure when McClain would return to the Cowboys, although he said Thursday he anticipated the linebacker would return Friday night and possibly practice Saturday.

"We're going to support him, and we'll see what happens with this particular situation, and then we'll make the best decision for our football team," Garrett said.

Because he did not know the particulars of the case, Garrett limited his comments.

"He's a young man who is trying to sort some things out that happened in his past," Garrett said. "He'll work through that process. We'll see how all that stuff shakes out, and we'll see where he fits back in our team."

Information from ESPN.com's Todd Archer and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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