The Dallas Cowboys aren’t having much luck keeping their players out of trouble. Second-year defensive end Randy Gregory and linebacker Rolando McClain, each a core member of the Dallas defense, face 10-game suspensions for failed drug tests, and on Tuesday reports surfaced that McClain’s failed test was for use of opiates. The opiate in question here is referred to as “purple drank,” a combination of codeine, cough syrup and Sprite.
McClain, who has failed tests for marijuana use in the past, is dealing with an addiction to codeine, per the Dallas Morning News. He is currently in the third and final stage of the NFL’s substance abuse program. Players in Stage 3 who fail to enter treatment facilities — which Gregory reportedly already has — are subject to a one-year ban from the league.
“Even we don’t know all the details, we just don’t know,” said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones as he left the practice field following a walk-through at the team’s facility in Oxnard, Calif. On Monday, he referenced McClain’s situation briefly, saying, “There are cap and other extenuating circumstances about deciding on where we want to go with Rolando at this point.”
Both McClain and Gregory were placed on the reserve/did not report list at the outset of training camp. They join defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, last season’s team leader in sacks who was also suspended for a failed test, receiving a four-game ban after testing positive for use of amphetamines. Dallas has seen 10 players suspended for a total of 50 games since the start of the 2014 season, and that list doesn’t even include Greg Hardy.
When reporters asked Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett about both Gregory and McClain Tuesday, Garrett responded, “We’re focused on coaching the guys who are here.” The list keeps getting shorter.