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Is Will McClay’s Time With the Dallas Cowboys Running Out?

Sean Martin

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Is Will McClay's Time With the Dallas Cowboys Running Out?

Recently, as we rapidly approach the end to another NFL regular season, this time of the year has routinely marked speculation about the Senior Director of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys - Will McClay - and his future status with the team regardless of their record.

McClay has long said that his focus is on helping win the Jones family another Super Bowl with the Cowboys, but at 6-6 this sixth Lombardi trophy for America's Team seems distant enough to allow Will to wander elsewhere in the offseason for a General Manager position.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The Fritz Pollard Alliance met with @NFL this week & submitted their names of suggested GM candidates. Per @TomPelissero and me, the list: Joey Clinkscales (#Raiders), Alonzo Highsmith (#Packers). Ray Farmer (#Rams consultant), Will McClay (#Cowboys), Doug Williams (#Redskins)

According to their website, the Fritz Pollard Alliance's mission is as follows:

"We promote diversity and equality of job opportunity in the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of National Football League ("NFL") teams."

Last February, McClay won the Minority Business Award from the Dallas Business Journal. Since his start with the Dallas Cowboys, McClay has been given increasing control over personnel decisions as his title (and responsibilities) have constantly adapted.

McClay's position in the Cowboys' brass is truly unique. As recently as two weeks ago, criticism was as abundant as ever for the likes of Stephen Jones, Jerry Jones, and Jason Garrett while the Cowboys lost three straight games in embarrassing fashion.

Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Jones is still firmly atop the Dallas Cowboys organization, but the team's fan base is well aware of the power that Stephen has on the roster. Stephen Jones, Will McClay, and the Cowboys' coaching staff have been able to coexist with varying results when it comes to acquiring talent through the NFL Draft and free agency.

This past draft may have been an eye-opener for Will McClay though. Typically content to use his back seat position to focus on finding football players for Dallas, McClay was uncharacteristically available to the media throughout the week after the team controversially selected Michigan DE Taco Charlton in the first round.

Taco Charlton, Jason Garrett

All reports out of the Cowboys' war room were that Charlton was effectively a "Jason Garrett pick". Will McClay may very well feel that there are too many voices to entertain with the Cowboys currently, as he's looked to merge the scouting connection between personnel staff, coaches, and scouts.

McClay has also been nearly universally loved by fans in Cowboys Nation that understand the eye for talent he's brought to a Cowboys team that still takes plenty of risks in their roster build - doing so with increased odds at hitting on any given signing or draft pick thanks to this Senior Player Personnel Director.

An opportunity to step away from a power struggle and run his own team as their GM could always entice Will McClay though, who will only become an increasingly popular candidate should the Cowboys continue to play well through December and make a push towards the playoffs.

The Cowboys' roster remains in somewhat of a transitional state as they patiently develop and add young talent. The man mostly responsible for seeing the Cowboys reach this stability point may be pulled away from Dallas very soon.

Tell us what you think about "Is Will McClay’s Time With the Dallas Cowboys Running Out?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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12 Comments
  • SAMMIE

    Lol is this a joke he’s not the problem everyone sees that,its our coaches we need plays so that the other teams don’t know every game we play and Jason needs to make adjustment when we’re in a bone or gets some real coaches JERRY AND LEAVE THE TEAM TO HIM .

    • Travis Diggs

      I almost went off on this article till i seen your post. Sean should be ashamed of his self for this article. Sean’s inexperience and youth as a fan/writer shows in a lot of his articles. When has Will Mcclay sign checks, called plays, or made in game adjustments??? Insidethestar needs to start thinking about removing sean from this website he’s terrible, Im sorry

      • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

        Hello, Travis. Thank you for expressing your concerns. I would like to clarify that at no point have I ever falsely said that Will McClay does any of the things you suggest here. Not in this article, any previous article, or social media platform. For those reasons I don’t believe that posting relevant news reported by one of the most credible in the business (Rap) is grounds for me to stop writing here. I am sorry you feel that way.

        • Michael Barthel

          Sean don’t worry about that man. If the dude doesn’t like what you put up or write then he doesn’t need to read or make a comment. Just being a dick making a comment that he really didn’t need to even make. I think your article was just fine

          • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

            Thank you Michael

  • http://www.dallascowboyschat.com Cowboysdude

    When is ANYONE who writes articles about the Cowboys going to just say it out loud. They need a REAL HC. Not a guy who pretends to be one…. The numbers don’t lie…..the man is clueless. He cannot develop players…..he’s just wasting a talented team. He wasted the 1st one he got……this is the second one and it will be all for nothing until the owner you know the guy pretending to be a GM hires a real coach, lets him hire his own staff and stays OUT OF THE WAY. It literally blows my mind that ANYONE other then the ones that are responsible continue to get blamed …. So if McClay leaves? As long as nothing changes they find another excuse and get rid of yet another person that has really no say…… then the homers get all excited and shout out “OH NOW we’re going to the SB”……but alas it’s not to be. Not with this coaching staff.

    • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

      Wouldn’t insufficient coaching be all the more reason to worry about losing a top personnel guy in McClay – giving these “clueless” coaches even less talent to coach?

  • Sam Clark

    Jerry Jones had success (i.e. superbowl wins) being the GM many, many years ago. However that, as we are all painfully aware, was with a strong HC in Jimmy Johnson. Let’s face it, Dallas’ last superbowl was won with the team Jimmy helped build. JJ hasn’t had a strong HC since Jimmy and he’ll never hire one because Jerry won’t give up enough control of the team to inspire a strong & talented HC to come in and take charge. I consider that to be the issue with what’s wrong with this team. JJ is a smart business man. But as, far as I’m concerned, he was better at digging oil wells than he is at managing a football team. When JJ brought Wade in, he already had Garrett situated as the assistant HC and he even paid Garrett more than he did Wade. In fact, Garrett was the highest paid assistant HC in the league. What other teams have done this and how many other coaches in the NFL would even tolerate this? This is just a glimpse of the type of character any prospective HC would have to have just to coexist with JJ. As for Will McClay, I think it is just a short matter of time before another team comes along and offers him a tempting enough deal that he just couldn’t refuse it. I think a large part of the reason as to why he decided to stay in Dallas just this past year is because he has a young child and he didn’t want to uproot her from everyone she knows. However, it’s been 22 years now since Dallas has last appeared in a superbowl and the clock is ticking. There’s no doubt that Will is hungry to put together a superbowl winning team. I don’t see any reason as to why he should limit himself to just trying to do it in Dallas. Another superbowl appearance may not happen again in Dallas under JJ’s regime.

  • EverybodyTalks

    If I was JJ I’d pay Will what a GM gets paid. These last 2 drafts are a direct result of his hard work and insight. The 2016 draft was exceptional, but I think Will made his bones last season with the 2017 draft. We started at #28 instead of #4. I hope we hold onto him by making it impossible for him to want to go anywhere else.

    • Kevin Black

      From what I’m hearing, McClay is being paid almost as much as a GM now. It’s just not widely known in the public and Will doesn’t volunteer that information, but J.J. will be happy to keep spending $$$ on McClay to try and keep him here.

      The question is how much control does McClay want versus responsibility in other areas that he might not want to deal with. Stephen Jones handles all the contracts and the cap management. Will might not want to have to deal with that. In addition, J.J. is the face and allows McClay to keep doing what he enjoys without the glare of the public spotlight.

      • https://InsideTheStar.com Sean Martin

        Spot on, Kevin. Well said. This is all correct

  • Bilbo Baggin

    Yep give that guy the war room him, Stephen and the scouts the rest clear out make the title official GM. Stay out of the room Garrett and Jerry!

Dallas Cowboys

Jaguars Waive Barry Church; Could Cowboys Bring Him Back?

Jess Haynie

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Barry Church

Veteran safety Barry Church was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Could he return home to the Dallas Cowboys, where he spent his first seven seasons?

Despite his leadership and consistency on defense, Dallas allowed Church to leave in free agency when Jacksonville gave him a lucrative deal. But if he clears waivers, could the Cowboys consider bring him back for depth and support during their likely playoff run?

Jane Slater of the NFL Network reported on this potential reunion:

Jane Slater on Twitter

Cowboys haven't reached out to S Barry Church but I'm told they are discussing the possibility of bringing him back to Dallas according to a source informed. Church, 30, was released by the Jags today and is familiar with the system having played there from 2010-2016.

The Cowboys have had solid play from their current starting safeties, Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. Neither is a star, but the duo has not been a liability during the team's current five-game winning streak.

Church was a similar player, reliable if never exceptional, during his time in Dallas. He could be a nice insurance policy for the playoffs if something happened to one of the starters.

Barry knows the system. He never played for Kris Richard, but he was with Rod Marinelli for three seasons before leaving in free agency.

According to reports out of Jacksonville, Church is being released because the team wants to go with younger, cheaper players now that their season is over. There is no known injury keeping Barry from playing.

Of course, Dallas would have to make room on the roster to pick Church up. They could third-year prospect Darian Thompson, who is the current fourth man at safety.

Barry Church must now go through the 24-hour waiver process. A team may claim him, including the Cowboys. We'll see what the future holds.



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Dallas Cowboys

How the Dallas Cowboys Can Win the NFC East This Week

Jess Haynie

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Jaylon Smith, Eagles

It's only Week 15, but the Dallas Cowboys could become the 2018 NFC East Champions this week through a couple of scenarios. I thought we'd take a moment today to break down how the Boys can win their division and assure their spot in the playoffs.

With three weeks left in the regular season, most of the divisional games have already been played. The only two left to play are the Week 17 finales; Cowboys at Giants and Eagles at Redskins.

Here are the current standings:

  1. Dallas Cowboys 8-5 (4-1 in division)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (3-2 in division)
  3. Washington Redskins 6-7 (2-3 in division)
  4. New York Giants 5-8 (1-4 in division)

The Giants have been scrappy lately, winning four of their last five, but it's too late for them to try to win the division. Even if the Cowboys were to fall to 8-8, the best New York could do is tie them in overall record. They would have also split their head-to-head series, negating that tiebreaker.

At that point, it would come down to the record within the division. New York would improve to 2-4 with a win over Dallas in Week 17, but the Cowboys would still be 4-2 against the NFC East. Dallas would still be the division champion.

So, that knocks out New York. Technically, the Eagles and Redskins are still alive. But their margin is about as slim as it gets.

Both Philadelphia and Washington need the Cowboys to lose their last three games, and then to also win out themselves, to steal the NFC East crown.

Sean's Scout: Cowboys Thankful for Cooper in Division Win Over Redskins

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

For the Redskins, it's about their record against division opponents. The best they can finish is 3-3, assuming they'd win their last game against the Eagles. With the head-to-head series against Dallas split this year, they would have to finish 9-7 overall and have the Cowboys drop to 8-8 to become NFC East Champions.

The Eagles also need to finish one game ahead of Dallas, but for a different reason. Philadelphia lost both their games with the Cowboys this year, so Dallas has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

So that really makes thing simple for Dallas; win just one of your last three games and you're the division champion.

Not only that, but even if Dallas were to fall this week against the Indianapolis Colts, they could still clinch the division with losses by the Eagles (@ Rams) and Redskins (@ Jaguars).

It would certainly behoove the Cowboys to get the division locked up now. They could then use the last two weeks of the season to get ready for the playoffs.

Dallas would have the freedom rest banged up players like Ezekiel Elliott and Zack Martin. It would also allow them to work in returning players such as Sean Lee and Tavon Austin and figure out their new rotations without pressure to win.

Beating the Colts on Sunday isn't a given; they're at home and desperate to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture. They are the toughest opponent Dallas has left until January.

But despite that, with the Eagles facing a juggernaut team and Washington trying to play football without a quarterback, there's a great chance that the Cowboys will be the NFC East Champions by Sunday night.



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Game Notes

#INDvsDAL: How The Game May Be Decided In The Red Zone

Kevin Brady

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Fantasy Football - Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings - Week 2 2
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In many ways the Dallas Cowboys offense has found their stride in recent weeks. Over this five game win streak they have "found their identity" playing ball control offense and trusting their quarterback to make big throws when needed most. Of course the defense has been the star most weeks, but this offense should not be slept on either.

This doesn't mean the offense has been without their fair share of struggles, however, particularly in the red zone. Struggles that the numbers say could cost the Cowboys this weeks' game in Indianapolis if they don't get it cleaned up.

In terms of red zone offensive efficiency the Cowboys have been downright horrendous. In fact, they are dead-last in the league in success rate inside the 10 yard line, last in first-and-goal success rate, and 21st in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

There's no sugar-coating those numbers, they are bad. Especially when you consider that this team has arguably the league's best running back and a quarterback with the size and athleticism you might expect from a linebacker.

For as bad as the Cowboys are inside the red zone, the Colts are equally as good. Indianapolis is top 10 in terms of success rate inside the 10, at the goal line, and in first-and-goal success rate. They are also 11th in success rate between the 11 and 20 yard lines.

Despite not having the individual running back the Cowboys have, the Colts offensive line and skill players as a whole set them up a bit better when the field is shortened. Tight end Eric Ebron has been rather incredible in terms of production this season, catching 12 touchdowns on 58 receptions. Andrew Luck is also a more accurate quarterback than Dak Prescott, though Prescott should be a much more dangerous red zone threat than he currently is.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

I am working on the Cowboys 32nd ranked Goal-to-Go offensive numbers. They have run 35 of their 59 total plays out of Shotgun-11 Personnel. In those 35 plays, the average gain per snap is....12 INCHES. I am not kidding. They could out-gain that by running QB sneaks. I am amazed.

Of course, some of the Cowboys red zone struggles can be pinned on offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Linehan has failed to scheme open the "easy" red zone touchdowns we see so often around the league. As pointed out by Bob Sturm on Twitter this week, the Cowboys' personnel groupings and play calls when in goal-to-go situations have been questionable to say the least. But while blame does fall on the coaches' shoulders, the players need to execute better as well.

Games in the NFL often come down to just a handful of plays, and red zone efficiency plays a key role in deciding the outcome of close games every week. If this is once again the case on Sunday, based on past performance, the Dallas Cowboys could be in trouble against the efficient Colts.



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