The Cowboys are considering reuniting with former locker-room leader Justin Durant, sources tell the reliable Mike Garafolo, as a possible answer to the questions surrounding incumbent starter Rolando McClain.
In two seasons with Dallas, Durant battled health issues and played in just 16 games (before jumping to the Falcons, where he played in 13 games before being released immediately after the season). But Durant is a battler in every way, a bonding agent in the linebackers room and a seasoned vet who might help the progress of kids like Anthony Hitchens, the presumptive favorite to replace McClain as Dallas’ middle linebacker during the latter player’s upcoming 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
It can be argued, though, that Durant, who will be 31 in September, is a band-aid who is just good enough to actually clog the progress of Hitchens and Damien Wilson and others. Maybe this is why Cowboys insider Bryan Broaddus has been tapping the brakes a bit here. The Cowboys need to work their way through that thinking while also making a far more difficult decision about whether it’s worth keeping McClain around while his interest level in playing football bobs up and down.
Eventually, Dallas would like second-round rookie Jaylon Smith to win the MIKE job. But he was drafted with the knowledge that 2016 would be a “redshirt’’ year as he works and waits for the nerve in his surgically-repaired knee to “re-fire.’’
Our thoughts? The Cowboys are exploring answers in the middle now — and if and when the time is right and the need is acute, Justin Durant is experienced enough to provide some of those.