Dallas Cowboys

Will McClay is a rising star but he’s happy as Cowboys’ chief scout

Dallas Cowboys senior director of college and pro personnel Will McClay is already considered one of the league’s top talent evaluators and is on the short list of teams seeking prospective general managers.

After a largely successful draft in which the Cowboys identified a plan and executed that plan to near perfection, McClay’s star is sure to rise even higher, especially considering the dearth of blacks in top-level front office positions in the NFL.

The Cowboys entered the 2017 NFL draft with huge needs on defense. The McClay-led haul resulted in seven of nine picks on defense, led by Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton with the 28th overall pick in the first round.

As of now, McClay says his focus is exclusively on the Cowboys and helping owner Jerry Jones get back to the Super Bowl.

“I’m very happy with my role here with the Cowboys,” McClay said Tuesday on 105.3 “The Fan.” “It is a family and I want to be a part of building a string of successful championship teams. One of my main goals is to be a part of something that helps Mr. Jones win a Super Bowl here really soon. I’m happy where I am. Who knows what the future holds. I love it here. I love the organization and the things that we do.”

McClay would be the first to tell you that what the Cowboys do in player personnel is a team job. He credits the scouts, the coaches and the front office for being on the same page and working together.

But make no mistake about it, McClay is the one who puts it all together for the Cowboys in terms of communication between the coaches and scouts and identifying the right players to fit their philosophy and scheme.

It was a mistake in that process in the 2013 NFL draft that prompted the Cowboys to elevate McClay to his current role as the team’s chief scout.

The results over the past four years have provided the foundation of a football team that is seemingly built to compete for titles for years to come.

Not only does McClay want to stick around and see if his work can get rewarded with a Super Bowl title, but so does his son, who is also a big reason why he wants to remain in Dallas.

“I have a 10-year-old son who’s my world; he loves it here,” McClay said. “When opportunities came up this year, I sat and I talked to him and said, ‘Buddy, what do you do?’ He says, ‘No, we got to be a Cowboy.’ 

“That means the world to me, him being here and wanting to be here. Getting the opportunity within this organization, I do get a chance to step away and catch up to his games and be around him, and that’s a very, very valuable part for me, too.”

Clarence Hill: 817-390-7760, @clarencehilljr

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