Jerry Jones gives Will McClay an A grade for 2014 draft

IRVING – Former NFL general manager Bill Polian says a draft can’t be accurately assessed for four years. The six-time NFL Executive of the Year and current ESPN analyst doesn’t believe in handing out draft grades an hour after the last pick is made.

If the Dallas Cowboys can look back to this weekend’s draft four years from now and say it was a success, assistant director of player personnel Will McClay will receive a lot of credit.

McClay was elevated to his current position before the start of last season.

"I give him an A," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Saturday night. "I really do. In every phase of it, preparation, from organizing the initial days, from the Senior Bowl all the way to the combine, the organization of the board, coordination with the coaches – I’m going over all that because I’ll break it down – and I couldn’t give him anything but an A in every respect.

"We all know how smart he is, but he’s got a unique perspective. He’s been around this game long enough. It really came to bear in that room. He made a significant, really a significant contribution to this being a success."

If you watched any of the live feed into the Cowboys draft room the last few days, McClay was seated near the head of the table, to the left of executive vice president Stephen Jones.

The area where McClay seems to receive the most praise is his ability to bring everyone together. When there are disagreements on player evaluations between the scouts and coaching staff, McClay helps to find a middle ground.

"That may be his best trait," Jerry Jones said. "He’s got great people skills. Everybody’s comfortable with him, but yet he’s real articulate. You understand clearly what he’s asking and what he’d like to get done. You put all that together and he did a great job."

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