Now that the 2019 NFL draft is over, teams usually make changes to their scouting staff if needed. There have already been a few moves around the league, including one that is reportedly going to happen involving Cowboys scout Jim Abrams. It looks like another move is on the way as reported in this tweet.
#Cowboys Sr. Personnel Executive Tom Ciskowski is retiring. Ciskowski originally joined the team in '92 and headed the team's draft from '08-'13, during which time @dallascowboys drafted @DezBryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, @DeMarcoMurray, Travis Frederick & many other top players.— Neil Stratton (@InsideTheLeague) May 3, 2019
Ciskowski was once the man in charge of the Cowboys drafts. That changed when the Cowboys made some moves that included elevating Will McClay who has excelled in the job. Here’s how the Star-Telegram explained it in 2014.
There was a time when Tom Ciskowski was a star on the rise in the Cowboys organization. But his roles have taken a downward turn the past two years.
He went from assistant director of player personnel last year to director of college scouting. His new title in the 2014 media guide is senior personnel executive and he has yet come to training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
It’s quite a drop off for a man who once was in charge of the Cowboys drafts from 2008-2013.
Ciskowski had been with the Cowboys since 1993 working his way up the scouting ladder. When Jeff Ireland left in 2008, Ciskowski took over the draft for the Cowboys.
Along the way he’s made some quality picks, including being the man credited with finding Larry Allen for the Cowboys and advocating for him right through the draft. But he was also part of the disastrous 2009 draft that will always be remembered unfavorably by Cowboys fans. There was also the controversial 2013 draft where there appeared to be a heated discussion in the war room, in which Ciskowski and Stephen Jones were involved. The Cowboys passed on Shariff Floyd in that draft despite him being ranked highly on their board. They traded down and eventually landed Travis Frederick, but that seemed to be the beginning of the end for Ciskowski’s reign in Dallas.
You can read a detailed breakdown of that snafu in which the scout’s opinions were not aligned with the coach’s wants, specifically Rod Marinelli. From that article, an explanation of what happened after the draft:
They gave Ciskowski a new role as director of scouting, allowing him to focus solely on the evaluation of college prospects instead of splitting his time between that heavy duty and the equally monumental task of monitoring players on other NFL rosters.
In addition to streamlining Ciskowski’s job description, they promoted Will McClay to assistant director of player personnel. In his role, McClay scours the pro ranks, looking for undervalued talent. He is credited for bringing in contributors off the street, including receiver Laurent Robinson, linebacker Ernie Sims and defensive linemen George Selvie and Nick Hayden. His most recent accomplishment is synchronizing the coaching and scouting departments.
As McClay’s star ascended, Ciskowski was pushed into the background. He still served faithfully under McClay and has dedicated a long career to the Cowboys. We should respect all the hard work he put into the organization. Salute!