FRISCO, Texas – Will McClay is staying in the Cowboys' front office, and his reasons are simple.
"I've got a goal," he said Monday on Cowboys Hour presented by Miller Lite. "When you're here it's to win, and we're going to give it everything we've got to hoist up that trophy for (Cowboys owner/general manager) Jerry (Jones), for the Cowboy fans, and whatever my part is that I can do in that, I want to try and be great at that. That's the No. 1 goal, and keeping my son here and the important things in life."
Last week, the Cowboys announced that they agreed to a new contract for McClay to continue as vice president of player personnel. The move is significant for the franchise's present and future. McClay has had a major role in the club's roster-building over the past several years. He's held several titles in 20 years with the personnel department, starting as a pro scout in 2002, running the club's draft process beginning in 2014 as assistant director of player personnel, and receiving a promotion to VP of player personnel in 2017.
McClay has drawn interest from other teams about high-ranking front office positions in the past, and that was the case again this year as the Cowboys went 12-5 in the regular season and won the NFC East title.
"At the end of the season we know these things are going to come about," McClay said. "I'm more in the mode of staying here, continuing here and continuing to try and do what our job is, is to win a Super Bowl and do my part within that.
"As it started to come down, I knew some things were going to happen. (Cowboys chief operating officer) Stephen (Jones) and Jerry knew as well. We talked about it in training camp. We went through the season, nose to the grindstone, and we got toward the end of the season and I had a conversation with Stephen and said let's talk. About the time we started talking, I think a couple of (interview request) slips came in, but we were done (with a contract agreement) by then."
Since 2014, the Cowboys have drafted eight players who have made at least one Pro Bowl, including Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch and most recently Trevon Diggs and Micah Parsons. Last offseason, the club signed several free agents -- most notably leading tackler Jayron Kearse -- who helped transform the defense under new coordinator Dan Quinn.
The season ended in disappointment Sunday with a 23-17 first-round playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The task for the front office now, McClay said, is "what we could've done, what went wrong, it's discussions about all those things."
"But to Jerry and Stephen's credit, they looked at the situation, the disappointment was there, but it's right back to business and how do we get better?" he said. "Really that's all you can do because there's 31 teams that at some point in time are going to go home in the last game and not be excited about it. But it's what steps are we taking, what are we doing to try and continue to capitalize on the momentum that we have from a season where you were 12-5. But also trying to figure out what we can do to get better."