Sunday, June 16, 2013
Cowboys moving toward more diversity
By Calvin Watkins
The offseason was a bad one for NFL owners in terms of diversity with their head coaches.
Of the eight vacancies, none were filled with minority candidates.
Of the seven general manager positions that were empty, only one -- Doug Whaley to the Buffalo Bills -- went to a minority.
Which brings us to the Dallas Cowboys.
Late last week, the Cowboys promoted Will McClay to assistant director of player personnel to work alongside Tom Ciskowski, who changed his title to director of scouting.
McClay is a key person in the Cowboys front office, along with Ciskowski and Judd Garrett in terms of finding players, college and pro.
But what McClay represents is diversity. He moves towards the top at a very important position in the Cowboys front office, and he's African-American. McClay has a voice with Jerry and Stephen Jones, which is very important in terms of finding players.
There are few African-American head coaches, just three in 2013, and the GM roles are held by few: Ozzie Newsome in Baltimore, Martin Mayhew in Detroit, Jerry Reese with the New York Giants, Reggie McKenzie in Oakland and Rick Smith in Houston are some of the names.
Diversity is important in sports, especially in the front office, and the Cowboys should be commended for what they did for McClay. They didn't move him up because of the color of his skin, but rather for what he's done for the team.
He helped find such players as Eric Frampton, Tony Fiammetta, Ernie Sims and Laurent Robinson. There was another player McClay found for the Cowboys, Jerry Brown, who passed away last December in a car crash.
The Cowboys have always promoted diversity in a number of ways, and by pushing McClay to this role, he could one day become a general manager for another team in a league that needs more diversity.