Sports Illustrated insider Albert Breer grouped Cowboys executive vice president of player personnel Will McClay among 18 buzzed-about candidates to become the Houston Texans’ GM, replacing the fired Bill O’Brien.
“Dallas, for all its faults, always seems to have really good players on its roster. There’s a reason why,” Breer wrote. “McClay’s a best-of-this-list guy (right there with Caserio, Dodds, George Paton and Ireland), and probably would be a GM now if the Joneses didn’t do everything they could to keep him. He’s got background as a coach, in analytics, and of course on both sides of the scouting business. Someone would do well to pry him. (If I was Houston or Jacksonville, I’d definitely be making that call.)”
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Background on McClay
A former Arena Football League player and coach, McClay joined the Cowboys in 2009, hired as a Pro Scouting Coordinator. He was promoted to Director of Football Research in 2011 and to assistant Director of Player Personnel in 2014. In 2018, he was bumped to his current position.
McClay, 54, is revered around the league — and especially in Dallas — for his ability to identify talent, whether it be veteran players or rookie prospects. He was named the “MVP” by team COO Stephen Jones after the Cowboys virtually scouted and eventually drafted the likes of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and cornerback Trevon Diggs as part of their widely-hailed 2020 class.
“Jerry and I did run into some general managers along the way, people who were involved in the draft that were pushing back and wanting to delay and wouldn’t embrace this,” Jones said in April, via the Dallas Morning News. “Will and our scouting staff jumped in with both feet, and he never blinked. He was ready to roll just like we have been for the past eight, nine, 10 years. …
“I think Will’s leadership with our scouting staff was off the charts. … He does an amazing job with the chemistry with the coaching staff, with our medical staff, with our off-the-field staff and compiling all the data that Jerry and I and the coaching staff need to see to make great decisions.”
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McCarthy Addresses Rumor of Moore Leaving for HC Job
Like in the case of McClay, Kellen Moore’s time as Cowboys offensive coordinator could be coming to a close. Coinciding with Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin reportedly accepting the same position at Auburn, rumors are swirling that Moore might return to his alma mater as Harsin’s successor — rumors that haven’t yet been addressed internally between Moore and Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy.
“I have not talked to Kellen (Moore) yet about it, which is not abnormal. Wednesday’s a busy day where you’re putting in the game plan,” McCarthy said Wednesday, via Radio.com. “But, I’m sure, if there’s something to talk about we’ll definitely talk about it. I think with anything (involving) career advancement you just handle those opportunities on an individual basis.”
Former Cowboys exec and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Gil Brandt was among the first to speculate about Moore’s potential departure to the Gem State. Brandt tweeted: “The Boise St job is one of the best in America. Great facilities, supportive admin, can easily recruit west coast, great place to raise family. It doesn’t have to be a stepping-stone job but it has landed many coaches much bigger gigs. Kellen Moore would be an excellent choice.”
The Idaho Statesmen also termed Moore a top candidate due to his “legend” at the university. And as Radio.com noted, Moore told the paper in 2018 that he’d be open to an eventual return.
Before he’d call plays at the highest level, Moore was quarterbacking BSU from 2008-2011. He finished his collegiate tenure having completed 1,157 passes for 14,667 yards, 142 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. Moore was a Heisman finalist in 2010 and became the first QB in FBS history to record at least 50 career wins.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL