When the Dallas Cowboys signed Rolando McClain to be in the mix at linebacker, they knew he had some baggage to deal with. With the team just now arriving in Oxnard, the first issue has surfaced. He will have to be in Decatur, Alabama on Friday to stand trial on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, stemming from an arrest in April of 2013.
McClain's attorney had requested the trial be rescheduled because McClain had training camp, but the judge, citing three previous postponements, refused. McClain will have to miss at least a few days to get this sorted out.
This is part of the risk that Dallas took in signing McClain. His absence is more significant than for most players being brought in on a low risk contract to see if he can contribute. He was expected to be competing for the Mike linebacker position, where the Cowboys have a gaping void because of the season-ending injury to Sean Lee. With McClain having to miss some time at Oxnard, the team will be looking primarily to Justin Durant and rookie Anthony Hitchens, but it is likely they had intended to get McClain in the middle of the rotation at practices with the hope he might stake a claim to the starting job. The challenge for him has now become greater as he will have even more catching up to do once he gets the issues cleared. There is no word in the media reports I have seen about whether there is any likelihood of jail time, although disorderly conduct usually results in fines. The resisting arrest could be more problematical.
There is also no word on whether the judge in question might or might not be an Eagles fan. That would be pure and groundless speculation, driven by paranoia, on my part.