Last week the Cowboys brought in defensive tackle Malik McDowell for a visit. He left without signing and since the visit there hasn’t really been a lot of news. McDowell’s ATV accident as a rookie right before training camp with the Seattle Seahawks has taken him out of action for the last two years. The Seahawks weren’t going to wait any longer, because their doctors believed he would never be cleared to play again. Here’s what Pete Carroll had to say after he learning about McDowell getting a visit with another team.
Carroll, in the first on-the-record comments from the team since waiving McDowell, said it would be a surprise if McDowell were able to play again.
“Great for him because I know he’d love to play in a game and all that,” Carroll said. “They’ve got that figured out and he’s gotten (cleared) and all that, but we had to deal with it the way we did. So it’s surprising.”
Asked what was surprising, Carroll said that “it sounds like somebody cleared him, doctors cleared him to play.”
When another reporter asked a similar question later in the session, Carroll spoke a little more firmly to make clear the team’s belief that McDowell isn’t medically fit to play.
“The doctors wouldn’t let him play,” he said. ” … He had an accident that he was injured and they couldn’t clear him. So …”
The Seahawks were not going to clear him, but as mentioned in the above quote, some doctors did clear him. McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announced that a group of independent doctors had cleared McDowell.
Spoke briefly with Drew Rosenhaus, who represents former Seahawks DL Malik McDowell. He said McDowell has been cleared by independent doctors and “we’re confident he’s going to be back and playing this year.”— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) March 25, 2019
But after the visit with the Cowboys, it was clear the team wasn’t sure yet about clearing McDowell to play.
DT Malik McDowell, who has visited the Cowboys, has been told by his doctors that he should be able to return to football after his ATV accident, agent Drew Rosenhaus said. Cowboys are still trying to get a handle on him medically.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) March 25, 2019
If the Cowboys doctors were ready to clear him, he almost assuredly would be a Cowboy by now. Given his immense talent and the help the Cowboys need at defensive tackle, plus the likelihood of a very cheap, incentive-laden contract, Dallas would have pounced if they could clear him.
But is the pursuit over? The Cowboys haven’t said anything but just yesterday Kevin Sherrington for SportsDay answered a chat question about McDowell.
Will the Cowboys take a chance on Malik McDowell?
Well, they’re apparently talking to him, and I don’t know why not. Seattle’s doctors wouldn’t clear him to play after a head injury sustained in an ATV accident. McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says a different set of doctors have a different opinion now. We’ll see. No sense not checking it out.
Maybe the Cowboys medical team is still working on this. Without knowing any of the specifics it’s hard to gauge where the team is at, but it doesn’t sound like the idea of signing McDowell has been totally ruled out. Maybe it has internally and the Cowboys haven’t informed anybody, but until we hear a final word, maybe this is still in play.