Sean Lee is hurt.  Again.

Has been for weeks, actually.

He won't hit the escalators in his contract to guarantee another $7.5 million.  He won't be the on-field leader of the Cowboys' defense in 2014.

Enter Rolando McClain.

Picked eighth overall by Oakland in the 2010 draft, he's been disappointing, like many other highly drafted Raiders before him.  Issues with McClain's pass defense, coupled with a series of off field incidents, have led to McClain's downfall.  He's retired twice since joining the Ravens, but is supposedly "excited" to play again.

And yet, this is a near-perfect trade for the Cowboys.

McClain signed a non-guaranteed $700,000 contract for 2014 with the trade, so there's no real ramifications if he's cut, and the Cowboys may give up nothing for him if he doesn't start.

At most, if McClain is on the field for more than half of the Cowboys' defensive snaps, Baltimore will give up their 2015 seventh round pick and acquire Dallas' 2015 sixth round pick.  For a partial replacement for Sean Lee, that's an extremely cheap price to pay.

And that's where Jerry Jones gets his gold star.  It's a small, low-risk move that could pay large dividends if the Rod Marinelli can motivate a young, misguided McClain and extract some of his wasted potential.  It's the kind of intelligent move that a seasoned, experienced GM would make.

Either Jerry has learned from his past mistakes or Jason Garrett has been a stabilizing influence on the Cowboys' owner/GM (three of the four drafts since Garrett became the head coach have resulted in first-round offensive linemen).

In short, there's hope for Cowboys fans yet.

 

Ryan is a diehard Cowboys fan who wn't give up because his dad was a Saints fan for forty years.  He's also played fantasy football since the days of walking uphill, both ways, in the snow to buy a newspaper and add up your fantasy score by hand.  He's putting his fantasy experience to good use- you can find various cheatsheets and tools here.