According to multiple sources, the Indianapolis Colts are interviewing Dallas Cowboys assistant director of player personnel Tom Ciskowski this weekend for their recently vacated general manager job. Other candidates who've reportedly been granted permission to interview for the Colts job include the Atlanta Falcons director of scouting David Caldwell and director of player personnel Les Snead, Philadelphia's director of player personnel Ryan Grigson and the New York Giants' director of college scouting Marc Ross. The Colts are also looking at in-house candidate and director of player personnel Tom Telesco, and are rumored to be also interested in Buffalo's assistant general manager Doug Whaley.
Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson tweeted yesterday that he thinks Ciskowski is "good", and that he had talked to the Colts and recommended Ciskowski.
Jerry Jones said yesterday that he's not surprised the Colts are interested in interviewing Ciskowski.
"Of course that's how it works. When people do a very good job they do get opportunities and Tom does an outstanding job of coordinating all of our scouts," Jones said on KRLD-FM. "He has a group of people, probably 30, who he basically coordinates of what we call pro scouting and college scouting and then we have our college scouts evaluate our pro teams as well as our own team. Tom does coordinate that and it's a big job. He answers directly to Stephen Jones, who is head of our personnel, and ultimately to me. He certainly should have the opportunity to advance and he may get a chance to advance with this interview."
Nick Eatman from dallascowboys.com writes that in addition to the Colts, the Rams are also believed to have inquired about Ciskowski. Ciskowski had already interviewed for the Rams job in 2006, but the position went to Billy Devaney, who was fired this week.
Ciskowski originally joined the Cowboys scouting department in 1992 as a Combine scout. Over time, he moved up through the ranks of the scouting organization, first as an area scout in the West and later taking over the South East. He was named the Director of College and Pro Scouting in 2008, after working for seven years as the club’s assistant director of college scouting. In 2011 his title was changed to Assistant Director of Player Personnel.
The interest in Ciskowski (and there are rumors that more teams than just the Colts and Rams are looking at him) highlights the fact that while Jerry Jones - and to a lesser extent Stephen Jones - hog all the headlines, the Cowboys have personnel people on their staff who are highly regarded among their NFL peers.
The issue for personnel people in Dallas is that both the title of General Manager and that of Vice President of Player Personnel are not available, as both have been held by the same two guys since 1989, Jerry and Stephen Jones. As such, it's almost inevitable that Ciskowski will eventually leave the Cowboys, just as Jeff Ireland did before him. And it's just as likely that the Cowboys already have a succession plan in place for this eventuality.
The most likely candidate to replace Ciskowski is Todd Williams, who is currently Director of Football Administration and previously held the position of Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Cowboys. Until recently, Williams was Ciskowski's #2 man in the scouting department. But because other teams had been sniffing around Williams, and it was only a matter of time before Ciskowski landed a GM job somewhere, the Cowboys moved Willimas to a postion where he could gain more experience with the financial and contractual aspects of the personnel side of the business.