It is a tradition for NFL teams to train camp with the goal of getting healthy and ready to go on the field as quickly as possible.
But the Cowboys did not have the same luxury this year.
They were missing their top defensive back, Rolando McClain, who was suspended for the first four games of the season after he was charged with DUI.
It was a major blow to a defense that has been among the best in the league this season.
Now, the Cowboys have to hope that McClain can be ready for the start of training camp on Sept. 3.
“We are going to do some extra work this week and hopefully be ready to play in a week or two,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said.
The Cowboys have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL.
They are led by the best inside linebacker in the game in Rolando (5.5 sacks), a dominant run defender who also has a knack for disrupting quarterbacks and making plays on the ball.
McClain was released by the Cowboys last month and he has not been seen in public since.
“It’s been a tough day,” Marinelli told reporters.
“The guy is a big part of our team.
He’s the best player in the country and he’s a leader of our football team.
It’s just been a sad day.
It will be tough for him to come back, especially since he is a key part of the team.”
The Cowboys are not the only team without McClain.
The Cardinals had their top two inside linebackers in Justin Bethel and James Laurinaitis cut.
The Broncos are also dealing with injuries at linebacker, but they are confident they can handle it.
“I think they’re going to be OK,” Broncos coach Mike McCoy said.
“They’ve got the best linebackers in the world in Rolandy (McClain), James (Laurinaitis) and Justin.
“With all those guys out there, they’re ready to be on the court.””
With all those guys out there, they’re ready to be on the court.”