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Will McClay comments on Cowboys keeping Byron Jones, and possible changes on the defensive line

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When Will McClay speaks, we listen.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-North Practice Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have undergone a lot of changes since we flipped our calendars to the year 2020. There’s a new head coach in town, plenty of new assistants, but one important thing has remained the same.

Will McClay is the Dallas Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel and if you’re unsure what that means you simply need to know that he is the person in charge of the draft. It is Will McClay that oversees the entire process for the Cowboys, the person heading the group that “shops for the groceries” if you will.

With the Cowboys scouting personnel stationed in Mobile, AL at the 2020 Senior Bowl, they are obviously looking for prospects that can better the team. McClay met with reporters on Wednesday and offered some information that can potentially be useful in determining what the team is planning to do this offseason. You can watch the interview on the mothership’s properties, we’ve embedded the YouTube video right here.

There were a handful of things that McClay said that we felt merited some special discussion Here they are.


A new coaching regime doesn’t change the process much

Obviously a new coaching staff means that there are some changes to how the Dallas Cowboys operate. McClay doesn’t seem to think that this will impact the job of his group too much, and that’s good. In an ideal world the scouts scout, the coaches coach, and the rest falls into place.

“They might want bigger interior players”

This was perhaps the most interesting thing that McClay had to say. We have all known and been able to telegraph what the Cowboys were going to do in the draft for so long, when things are the way that they are for a decade that tends to be the case.

The Cowboys never made it a point to prioritize positions like safety or defensive tackle during the Jason Garrett era and many have been wondering whether that will be something that changes a bit. McClay seems to have eyes for big players up front. Get hyped.

“At the end of the day we’re going to stay within the same scheme. And we’re going to do things a little bit different. So our job is to go and evaluate all of the players. They might want bigger interior players, so, that’s fine, we’ll go and look for that. But I think we’re going to be looking for the same type players.”

Reading in between the lines here it does seem like the order initiated from Mike McCarthy’s coaching staff is that they want, well, bigger interior players. That’s, oh I don’t know, what Cowboys fans have been screaming about for some time now.

Last Tuesday I co-hosted ESPN San Antonio’s The Blitz and we actually had McClay on. I asked him what he liked in a defensive tackle and while he kept it a bit neutral, it seems like this position is obviously a focus.

Fingers crossed.

The comments on Byron Jones were interesting

Rumors are flying around the NFL right now, so much so that there is some speculation that soon-to-be free agent Byron Jones could wind up on the Philadelphia Eagles. That would not be fun.

McClay was asked about Byron getting ready to hit the market. Here’s what he said.

“He’s a starting-caliber NFL corner. He’s a really good player. And we have to figure out his financial value and if it fits for us.”

These comments from McClay come one day after Stephen Jones called Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper priorities numbers one and two, respectively (you can watch that interview here). Jones is obviously third at best.