Report: Longtime Cowboys exec Will McClay sought by multiple teams for top jobs

Report: Longtime Cowboys exec Will McClay sought by multiple teams for top jobs

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was named Monday as a target of at least three teams’ searches for a new head coach, with more surely to come. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and special teams coordinator John Fassel could also get looks this hiring cycle from outside clubs.

But some are also looking to raid the Cowboys’ front office.

According to a Tuesday morning report from NFL insider Albert Breer, multiple NFC teams are eager to see if they can woo Will McClay, the No. 3 man inside the organization and the highest-ranking executive not named Jones, away from Dallas.

The Carolina Panthers have requested to speak with the 57-year-old about their open general manager position, and the Washington Commanders are reportedly interested in him becoming their head of football operations.

McClay has been with the Cowboys organization since 2003, starting as a scout and working his way up to VP of Player Personnel, his current role, in 2017.

McClay’s position inside the Cowboys front office is unique in that he assumes many of the duties of a traditional GM- acting as the club’s top talent evaluator- but without the title or the spotlight.

Whenever there’s a camera or microphone around, Jerry Jones is the great and powerful Oz. McClay, in many ways, is the man behind the curtain.

Jones has never kept McClay’s importance to the Cowboys organization a secret, even if he jokes, as he did just last spring, “I don’t want anybody to know about Will.”

But McClay’s knack for building a contending roster more years than not and his quiet influence within the highest-profile sports franchise on the planet has been clear and obvious to the rest of the league for a long time. Some of the biggest stars of the Cowboys’ last two decades have worn the silver and blue because of McClay’s eye and acumen, not only leading up to draft day but then throughout free agency and training camp and on into the season itself.

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And yet, when asked over the years, McClay has always explained that letting Jerry and Stephen Jones be the front-facing personalities of the team while he continues to work in the background has never bothered him.

“[Job] titles don’t mean anything to me. Unless you own something, you’re always reporting to somebody,” McClay has said, explaining that his desire to help the Cowboys- and specifically, the Jones family- hoist a sixth Lombardi Trophy has played a large part in persuading him to remain in Dallas.

“I pride myself on not having an ego,” he said. “If you don’t have an ego, you can listen to people, you can formulate ideas. … I don’t make the decisions — Jerry does along with Stephen — but my input is greatly valued. … It’s pooling together that information and making sure we’re as meticulous as we can be and getting all the details. I talk to our scouts all the time about how the job we do is [like] we’re lawyers: We’re presenting the case.”

And now, as the Cowboys prepare to make a legitimate run at that Super Bowl title, several teams around the league hope to be presenting their case to McClay that maybe it’s time for him to take on a new challenge.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire