Arena rivalry hits NFC East

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
2:15
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- In swapping Mike Shanahan for Jay Gruden, the Washington Redskins have swapped a coach with two Super Bowl wins for a coach with two ArenaBowl championships and four as a player.

So there is that.

Gruden’s addition also means the NFC East will have two ex-Arena Football League players and coaches at or near the top of their teams’ flow chart.

Will McClay is the Dallas Cowboys' assistant director of player personnel, which is the most powerful personnel job owned by somebody not with the last name Jones. He won three ArenaBowl titles with the Detroit Drive and was with the Dallas Desperados from 2002-08, serving for five years as the head coach. In 2006, he was named the AFL’s coach of the year.

Gruden won four titles as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Storm, and two more as coach of the Orlando Predators.

Scoff at the indoor league all you want, but it provided solid training ground for a variety of players, coaches and personnel people now in the NFL.

McClay has been with the Cowboys for 11 years, but is in his first year as the assistant director of player personnel, flipping responsibilities with Tom Ciskowski, who is now the director of scouting.

For those scoring at home, McClay had a 4-1 record against Gruden’s Predators from 2004-08.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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