Can/Will Sean Payton save the Dallas Cowboys?

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

According to recent reports from Ian Rapoport, former Dallas Cowboys coach and current New Orleans coach, Sean Payton, has not committed to return to the Saints for 2022. The Super Bowl winning coach has been contemplating retirement and has “gone dark” to more than a few people as he mulls his decisions.

As the official “coach that got away”, Dallas Cowboys fans are obviously intrigued by the prospect of Payton leaving New Orleans. Under the tutelage of Bill Parcells, Payton was once regarded as the rising star in Big D. But one meaningless contract extension to Parcells later, Payton left to pursue a head coaching opportunity elsewhere. And the rest, they say, is history.

Over the years the Jones family and Sean Payton have held a good relationship with each other. Payton has even survived public pranks at Jerry Jones’ expense (see also St Elmos Steakhouse). It’s thought that he’s one of the select few people, let alone coaches, that can communicate with Jerry on level ground.

Sean Payton is on the minds of Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere but why and what are the chances it matters?

For a franchise plagued by the appearance of of the Jones Family thumb ceaselessly tipping the scales of football operations, a coach like Sean Payton would go a long way in changing the perception around Dallas.

Payton would be a leader the Jones family couldn’t strong arm and he’d be a creative play designer who will bend to his teams strengths rather than asking his team bend to him.

Why Sean Payton?

There aren’t many coaches who can come into The Star and Frisco and clearly be the seen as the guy in charge. Wade Philips, Jason Garrett, and Mike McCarthy all bent a knee to the Jones family wishes. They weren’t/aren’t complete puppets like some suggest, but they were/are bona fide “Yes Men”, willing to make coaching decisions based on Stephen’s recommendations.

Sean Payton wouldn’t be that guy.

While some may be unimpressed in Sean Payton’s resume and even liken him to current Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy ( Only1 Super Bowl with a decade of QB play from a Hall of Famer), the differences are significant.

McCarthy was a delegating figurehead in Green Bay. Payton was the architect and master schemer in New Orleans. And as much as I like Drew Brees, his arm strength was a significant barrier to overcome. Payton designed an offense to be deadly despite the limited downfield attack. Make no mistake: Sean Payton is a top-5 NFL coach.

So to answer the question of, “can Sean Payton save the Dallas Cowboys?” I say yes, yes he can.

Will Sean Payton save the Dallas Cowboys?

This is a much different question. Sean Payton is under contract for the next three seasons. He can retire and quit coaching but he can’t run off and get a new coaching gig freely. If he can’t get out from his contract, he will need to be traded and that could prove difficult.

Jon Gruden and Bruce Arians are two coaches who have been traded from one franchise to another. Both required draft pick compensation. How much do you think the Cowboys are willing to send?

Then there’s the negotiation factor to consider. Rumors about Sean Payton going to Dallas have been floated before and it got Payton was as enormous raise in New Orleans. Is that what’s happening here today? Are the Cowboys being “used” so Payton can squeeze New Orleans for more cash?

I’ve heard crazier ideas.

The way it looks now is there are too many obstacles to overcome in order to make this happen.

  1. Payton needs to want to keep coaching
  2. Payton has to actually want to come to Dallas
  3. New Orleans has to be willing to deal him to Dallas
  4. Dallas has to accept the cost of trading for Payton
  5. Stephen Jones needs to be willing to step back and let his coach, coach.

Right now, I’m not sure any of those things will happen, let alone all five. This is a fun story to monitor because Sean Payton would be one of the most significant changes this franchise could take in a single offseason. It’s also an enormous long-shot and should be seen as such.

Must Read. How much is Dalton Schultz worth in free agency?. light

Next. 4 Key moments that altered the Cowboys season. dark

We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as we go, but for now, if you want to think about coaching changes, think about coaches who are actually on the market.

  • Published on 01/24/2022 at 13:52 PM
  • Last updated at 01/24/2022 at 13:52 PM