His business cards may read Vice President of Player Personnel, but everybody knows that Will McClay is the “General Manager” of the Dallas Cowboys.
McClay is the man in charge when it comes to player evaluation and all things NFL Draft for the Cowboys. He’s close to two decades worth of work with the Dallas Cowboys in some sort of capacity.
Various NFL teams have shown interest in McClay before, he’s regarded as quite the talent evaluator in league circles. Friday brought forth the potential latest threat, the Houston Texans.
Two more personnel executives the Texans are interested in for their vacant GM job are Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas and Cowboys VP of player personnel Will McClay.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 5, 2018
Whatever distress that may have caused Cowboys fans only lasted about 48 hours. Sunday morning word surfaced from Houston’s John McClain again, this time noting that McClay was staying in Dallas.
Will McClay, the Cowboys' VP of player personnel, informed the Texans he's staying with Jerry Jones. He was on their list of possible GM candidates to replace Rick Smith.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) January 7, 2018
Everything was sunshine and roses until the mothership’s Bryan Broaddus, ye of vast knowledge when it comes to the NFL Draft as well, dropped this little nugget.
There is something not right in all this McClay news I am afraid...— Bryan Broaddus (@BryanBroaddus) January 7, 2018
It was at this point that residual word began to surface that Will McClay had not exactly turned down Houston quite yet. In fact it went so far that McClay was even given permission to interview with Houston. For real.
Cowboys VP Will McClay has been given permission to speak to Houston about GM job. But Texans have yet to officially extend an interview request & he won’t divulge his intentions “until I speak with someone officially from Houston if they are interested.”— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) January 7, 2018
Will McClay statement: “I haven’t officially accepted or declined interview with Houston because I haven’t talked to anyone from there. “My intentions to interview or stay in Dallas won’t be divulged until I speak with someone officially from Houston if they are interested." (1)— Jean-Jacques Taylor (@JJT_Journalist) January 7, 2018
Will McClay statement cont: "out of respect for both organizations and the process.” #end— Jean-Jacques Taylor (@JJT_Journalist) January 7, 2018
McClay’s statement sounds like he’s taking things literally. He’s saying “well I haven’t declined anything because I haven’t spoken to anyone so how could I decline if I haven’t spoken?” which is technically true.
But if McClay has no interest in interviewing, why would it get to the point that he would be given permission? That would suggest that he has at the very least the minimum level of interest, no?
The Texans are an interesting team to consider for any General Manager prospect. They have a young and exciting franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson, one of the best receivers in Deandre Hopkins, and the best defensive player in the game when he’s healthy in J.J. Watt.
As noted, McClay has been linked to these types of openings before. While he’s turned them down previously, who’s to say how long they’ll be there for him? It’s understandable that he would be interested to some degree.
Whether the likelihood of him leaving is large or small, it is at the very least something that is somewhat relevant for the moment. Until Will McClay doesn’t leave, the possibility exists that he could. And now so does the permission to, apparently.