Sean Payton’s return to the Dallas Cowboys gets closer

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

When we first floated the idea of Sean Payton coming to Dallas as the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, we explained the long odds. Many things had to take place for the seemingly impossible to happen, and up until then, we weren’t quite sure any of them actually would.

1) Sean Payton would need to have interest. 2)Dallas would need to have interest. 3)The Saints would need to be willing to part with him since he’s under contract. 4) Dallas would need to be willing to trade draft capital for him. 5) Stephen and Jerry would need to be willing to step aside and give Sean Payton Bill Parcells-like autonomy.

Those are a lot of boxes to check and a deal doesn’t get done unless they all get marked.

The discussion didn’t rise up out of nowhere. I wasn’t desperate for headlines and trying to create something out of nothing. Sean Payton had long been linked to the Dallas Cowboys and just about everyone knows there has been mutual interest between the two sides since the day they parted back in the early aughts.

Yesterday the wheels of motion started turning and Sean Payton took a major step in becoming the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

The number of dominos that fell yesterday are staggering. We cannot understate all the goings-on that happened and how uncoincidental they are.

Based on Stephen Jones’ initial season-ending interview, the Dallas Cowboys seemed likely to bring back Mike McCarthy as head coach. Then, when reports started to immerge that Payton was contemplating his future in New Orleans, Jerry flipped a 180 on McCarthy and indicated that nothing was settled at head coach.

Cowboys brass met yesterday at the same time Payton was announcing his retirement. Payton’s cryptic “right now” in his speech providing the perfect escape hatch for him to coach elsewhere.

Then we got word this isn’t the first time Sean Payton tried to make a move to Dallas. A previous effort was in the works in 2019. But Anthony Davis mucked it up with his sudden departure from the city of New Orleans. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up! Not being able to take two PR hits in the same season, Payton’s departure was put on hold (see also info in tweet below).

Now we sit here with seemingly four of those five boxes I listed checked in the affirmative. Dallas wants Payton. Payton wants Dallas. And Stephen will respect Payton’s role as main shot-caller. The only thing to work out is compensation.

Whether Payton sits out this year or coaches right away, the New Orleans Saints own his rights. The Dallas Cowboys have to give them something for Sean Payton and we really have no idea what they’ll demand.

By unofficially “retiring” Payton has basically said coming back is not an option. So the Saints know they can either let him retire from the game and block him from future jobs or they can part on good terms and trade him for draft picks.

Given what happened in 2019, I think the latter is the most likely. I’d also be surprised if the price was exorbitant like the famous Jon Gruden trade.

There is a lot that needs to be ironed out. The most difficult step remains. But we came a long way in a day and the Dallas Cowboys appear to be one big step away from having Sean Payton as their next head coach.

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It’s not going out on a limb anymore to say we should expect a deal to be made in the next 12-months. The big question is, will this get done for this season or next?

  • Published on 01/26/2022 at 13:52 PM
  • Last updated at 01/26/2022 at 13:58 PM