Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys Nation’s only hope is Will McClay

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

As the free agency period comes to an end and the NFL draft slowly approaches, the Dallas Cowboys sit in a familiar position idly doing nothing as other NFL teams improve their rosters.

The Cowboys re-signed some key contributors on the cheap like Dorance Armstrong, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Leighton Vander Esch, Carlos Watkins, Jake McQuaide, and Jeremy Sprinkle. Then they wisely come to terms with current star players Michael Gallup and DeMarcus Lawrence and added some outside low-level signings like James Washington and Dante Fowler, Jr.

While all of those signings were extremely important, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to fully address the losses of Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, Randy Gregory, Connor Williams and La’el Collins. If not addressed through free agency, the best/last/only possibility is in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Will McClay is the only savior for the Dallas Cowboys to stay competitive and return to its glory years.

It’s been a decade (2012) since the Dallas Cowboys have made a big-time free agent signing. In 2012 the Cowboys signed defensive back Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50 million deal. Since then, big splashes have been a thing of the past.

Instead of going for the home run like Jerry Jones used to do, Stephen Jones “bargain shops” for mediocre players on team-friendly contracts.

Dallas fans are used to it now, but still holding out a glimmer of hope that Stephen might trade for Brandon Cooks, sign Jarvis Landry or that Stephen just flat out retire and let someone like Will McClay take over. Now, we all know that will never happen.

If you remove Will McClay from the organization, then the Dallas Cowboys lose their only source of talent acquisition

Will McClay is the only hope for this proudful fanbase because he’s the one finding all of these ultra-talented players that Jerry and Stephen lean on every year. The raw truth is Jerry and Stephen are not good front office executives and lack the basic principles of maneuvering to make this team better. Their only saving grace is that McClay constantly finds good to great players for them to draft.

If you remove McClay from the organization, then the Jones’s lose their only source of talent acquisition. See, if Dallas continues to draft well (where they have a good track record), then Dallas can continue to field a competitive team and give themselves a fighting chance.

McClay has been with this organization for 20 seasons, and has worked his way up from a low level pro scout. He was promoted to scouting coordinator and then became in charge of football research. McClay became Vice President of Player Personnel in 2017, and he has been in charge of the entire draft process since 2014.

McClay is truly the architect of Dallas’ draft process and has achieved notoriety for drafting players like Dez Bryant, Dak Prescott, Demarcus Lawrence, Tyron Smith,  Randy Gregory, Zack Martin, CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and many others. In addition, McClay seeks out the best free agents, too, although it falls on deaf ears.

But last season McClay worked his magic as Dallas hit the jackpot with free agent signings of Kearse, Malik Hooker, Damontae Kazee, and Tarell Basham. Those players played a significant role in Dallas winning the NFC East and leading the NFL in takeaways.

If it sounds like I’m giving McClay too much credit, I’m not, because McClay is sought out by other teams every year as a general manager candidate. It’s why the Jones’s reached an huge agreement with McClay earlier this year to keep him in Dallas’ front office.

To be fair, McClay is not beyond reproach and has had a few questionable draft selections, but you can even excuse that because he was only finding the type of players the coaching staff wanted. Remember drafting Taco Charlton over T.J. Watt?  That was then defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. 

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Because Jerry and Stephen have huge egos, they’ll never relinquish the GM title to McClay. However, they’ll take full responsibility for McClay doing all of the heavy lifting from finding the players to running the draft room. The ghost of Jimmy Johnson is still haunting the Jones’s-especially Jerry.

With Jerry slowly handing all of the control to Stephen, I don’t know if the Dallas Cowboys will ever win another Super Bowl (or make it to an NFC Championship Game), but as long as McClay is in the building, the Cowboy’s fanbase have some hope. Even it’s a slimmer of hope.

  • Published on 04/08/2022 at 12:45 PM
  • Last updated at 04/08/2022 at 12:22 PM