Will McClay, the loudest voice in the Dallas Cowboys organization when it comes to scouting and personnel decisions, has been willing to forego the General Manager title to remain with the club for some time. He declined an interview with the Houston Texans this offseason for their opening, and the Cowboys rewarded his loyalty today with a two-year contract extension.
Credited with helping the Cowboys get back to consistently solid drafting, McClay has turned down several opportunities through the years to be a General Manager with other teams. The Cowboys have paid him very well to stick around, but there’s always been the concern that he may eventually want the title on his resume.
The Cowboys’ GM is, of course, owner Jerry Jones. He has held the title since he bought the team in 1989.
In practice, though, the GM duties in Dallas are handled by a collective effort from Jerry, Will McClay, and Stephen Jones. With Jerry turning 76 this year, this time isn’t far away when he will likely pass on the title to one of his key advisors.
McClay’s willingness to stay in Dallas tells me that eventually becoming the team’s General Manager has already been promised. When that comes is of course up to Jerry, but we can be sure that the Jones family has a good gauge on Will’s feelings and goals and won’t let him get away after so many years together and efforts to keep him happy.
During McClay’s tenure overseeing drafts and other aspects of player acquisition, Dallas has built one of the league’s best offensive lines and found quality mid and late-round players in several drafts. Finding a potential franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott in the late fourth round in 2016 may have been the greatest accomplishment of all.
Will McClay and Stephen Jones have worked together to move the Cowboys into a far more modern perspective on cap management and personnel moves. They have adopted philosophies seen from some of the most successful franchises in recent years, such as the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.
One day soon, McClay will likely be named the Cowboys General Manager. Until then, the mutual loyalty between the two is a positive as the team continues to chase its sixth Super Bowl title.