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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!

Game Notes

CIN 21, DAL 14: Dak Prescott Continues Strong Preseason in Loss

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott, Bengals

The games may not count yet, but Dak Prescott looks ready for the 2018 season. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback continued his strong preseason play in the team's 21-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Prescott played three series, going 10/15 for 86 yards and a touchdown. He got the offense out of trouble a few times with his feet, avoiding sacks and ultimately getting the scoring pass off on a redzone scramble.

Dak's strong play has coincided with shutdown performances from the starting defense. The Cowboys' first-team defenders have yet to allow a score in two preseason games. Tonight, the Bengals were forced into four punts and two turnovers on their first-half possessions.

Overall, the Cowboys are a combined 24-7 in the first halves of their first two preseason contests.

The second half has been the problem, and for two weeks now Dallas' reserves have squandered halftime leads and given up losses. Thankfully, most of the responsible players will not be on the final 53-man roster.

Other Notes

  • There were several concerning injuries for the Cowboys tonight. None was scarier than when All-Pro guard Zack Martin went out with a knee injury, but it does not appear to have been serious. Starting defensive backs Byron Jones and Xavier Woods also got banged up; Byron returned to the game but Woods did not. Defensive lineman Datone Jones also left with a knee injury.
  • Even more concerning was the play of the second-team offensive line. Chaz Green was typically awful, but we also saw swing tackle Cam Fleming struggling and just an overall lack of protection for the backups quarterbacks. Green got benched in the second half and may have finally played his way off the team.
  • Credit to Terrance Williams for getting open in the endzone to give Dak Prescott a receiver for the touchdown throw. Even with his warts, Williams' two years of experience playing with Dak can't be ignored in deciding who makes the team.
  • Tight end Blake Jarwin continues to run with the starters on offense and may have quietly taken the job away from Geoff Swaim.
  • Darius Jackson took advantage of some extra playing time tonight after Bo Scarbrough left with a hip injury. He broke off a few nice runs to amass 42 yards on just six carries, plus had four receptions.
  • We finally get to see Dan Bailey kick a field goal again, and it was an easy 35-yarder with no issues.
  • Shout out to Chidobe Awuzie for one of the pretty interceptions that a Cowboys DB has made in some time. Awuzie had to bend like Beckham (Odell, that is) to get a hand on the ball, then tipped it to himself for the pick.
  • Preseason fun continues for the Cowboys next Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals on NBC's Sunday Night Football.



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Game Notes

#DALvsCIN: Can WR Lance Lenoir Continue To Impress?

Kevin Brady

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Lance Lenoir

Entering training camp projecting who would make the final roster from the Dallas Cowboys wide receiving room was a crapshoot. The combination of misfits from other teams, unproven young guys, and a couple of Cowboys veterans makes this position group the most questioned across the entire roster.

But while Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup were stealing headlines, Lance Lenoir was making a name for himself among the Cowboys faithful.

After serving on the practice squad for the Cowboys a year ago, Lenoir seems to have entered 2018 with one goal in mind: to make the official game-day roster. And even if he falls short of this goal, it won't be due to any fault of his own.

Day in and day out Lance Lenoir has been a consistent wide out, catching nearly everything thrown his way and running some of the crisper routes on the team. Under new receivers coach Sanjay Lal, Lenoir has become a technical route runner and dangerous receiving threat.

Maybe most importantly for his future with the team, Lenoir has developed an obvious chemistry with starting quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott has continued to compliment Lenoir throughout training camp, and you know that the Cowboys front office is well aware of Prescott's trust in Lenoir on the field.

During the preseason opener against the 49ers, Lance Lenoir caught his first touchdown of the season, dazzling with his toe-tap ability. If he is going to steal a roster spot away from one of the more seasoned wide outs, however, he will have to remain that consistent target.

This Saturday, Lenoir gets another shot to prove why he's not only deserving of a roster spot, but of a starting spot. Sure, it might be a bit of a stretch, but if he continues to play like he has during camp and preseason, Lenoir could find himself working with the 1's more frequently.

Look out for Lance Lenoir against the Bengals this week, as he makes it harder and harder for the Cowboys to cut him by the second.



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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys en Español: ¿Es Tavon Austin Más Importante de lo que Creemos?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Tavon Austin, Cowboys Best Playmaker Not Named Ezekiel Elliott?

Cada vez más cerca de la verdadera acción en la NFL, tuvimos una oportunidad de ver a los Dallas Cowboys en el campo contra los San Francisco 49ers hace una semana. Francamente, a pesar de perder la ventaja en los últimos segundos del partido, la actuación del equipo dio una muy buena señal a los aficionados de la Estrella Solitaria.

Todavía quedan tres partidos por jugar, empezando por el enfrentamiento contra los Cincinnati Bengals este sábado. Hay muchas cosas que ver de parte de los Dallas Cowboys y quizá algunas de ellas las veamos este mismo fin de semana.

Una de las cosas más interesantes esta semana fue la conversación de los wide receivers (receptores abiertos). Lance Lenoir se ha mostrado como un candidato real al roster de 53 jugadores, pero esa es sólo una pequeña fracción de la conversación de receptores.

Hay muchos receptores de que hablar, y el día de hoy, eso haremos en Cowboys en Español.

¿Cole Beasley es realmente el receptor #1?

A lo largo de todo el offseason, se ha manejado la narrativa de que "los Cowboys no tienen un buen WR." A pesar de que Dez Bryant es un nombre difícil de olvidar, esta aseveración sobre los receptores en Dallas me parece errónea.

Si bien es cierto que Bryant es uno de los mejores WRs en la historia de los Cowboys, también es cierto que Jason Garrett y compañía tienen un mejor grupo de lo que la afición considera. Si somos sinceros, un trío titular de Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley y Michael Gallup no suena mal.

La pregunta será: ¿quién es el #1? Comentarios de Dak Prescott han hecho referencia a Cole Beasley como el dueño de dicho rol. ¿Realmente puede fungir como el receptor líder del equipo siendo un jugador de 1.73 metros?

Se ha hablado mucho de Beasley jugando fuera de los números e intentando vencer a los defensivos por fuera. Es intrigante, pero sin duda un poco difícil de creer.

Tavon Austin: ¿Es un arma más importante de lo que creemos?

Los Cowboys dejaron ir a Ryan Switzer y obtuvieron a su aparente remplazo con el ex-WR de los Rams por una selección de sexta ronda. Tavon Austin ha tenido un viaje extraño con el equipo. Fue listado en el roster como un corredor pero utilizado como un receptor.

Lleva poco tiempo en Dallas pero ha sorprendido en training camp y ha sido utilizado como más de lo que esperábamos. Desde que llegó al equipo, empezamos a compararlo con Lucky Whitehead y Ryan Switzer. Ambos talentosos, pero destinados a ser un jugador "gadget" que fueron utilizados casi exclusivamente en jugadas "en movimiento" o los famosos "jet sweeps."

Pero Austin puede ser más que eso y lo ha demostrado en training camp. No parece que Tavon vaya a tener el mismo destino que Switzer, sino que tendrá un rol mucho más involucrado en la ofensiva constantemente. Bien puede ser un factor sorpresa para la ofensiva en Dallas.

¿Puede Terrance Williams perder su trabajo?

A pesar de que el coraje puede llevar a los aficionados a criticar a Terrance Williams un poco más de lo que merece, la verdad es que Williams está en riesgo de ser cortado por los Cowboys antes de que inicie la temporada en septiembre.

Es uno de los WRs con más experiencia, sí. Pero durante su estadía en Dallas, cada vez que Dez Bryant ha caído lesionado, Williams ha tenido la oportunidad de surgir como un receptor #1 capaz y preparado. Y nunca lo ha logrado.

Con un roster lleno de talentos jóvenes como el de Lance Lenoir y Noah Brown, es probable que la administración y los coaches opten por el potencial joven en vez de Williams, quien ha tenido problemas para demostrar que puede ser un jugador constante.

✭✭✭

Los Dallas Cowboys tienen que conseguir que su ofensiva sobreviva las pérdidas de Jason Witten y Dez Bryant y tendrán que comenzar en la posición de WR. A pesar de que Williams esté en el equipo, Cole Beasley será el único en repetir titularidad del año pasado en Dallas esta temporada.

Dak Prescott tendrá un rol enorme cuando la ofensiva trate de emprender su marcha y definitivamente será responsable del éxito de esta. Es ahora o nunca para Dak.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: ¿Es Tavon Austin Más Importante de lo que Creemos?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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