Sean Payton had his contract extension with the New Orleans Saints voided this week by the NFL as he continues to serve his year-long suspension for his part in the bounty allegations against the Saints. Immediately after the NFL stepped in, speculation about Sean Payton’s impending free agency began to swirl as one of the best coaches in football suddenly became available for next season.
Enter the Dallas Cowboys – a franchise that has endured years of horrible coaching since Bill Parcells left, and continually fails to produce despite a very talented roster. It appears Jason Garrett is running out of time to turn things around, and his continued time management and play calling mistakes are costing the Dallas Cowboys wins. Sean Payton would be a great fit for the Dallas Cowboys and the combination of Payton and Rob Ryan could create one of the best coaching staffs in football, but after turning around a struggling franchise in New Orleans, rebuilding a decimated community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and establishing a successful relationship with Drew Brees, would Sean Payton really consider leaving the New Orleans Saints in favor of the once-prestigious Dallas Cowboys?
While team owner and general manager Jerry Jones appears to be content with Jason Garrett as his coach, Garrett’s mistakes have been difficult to ignore during the slow start of the Dallas Cowboys. He has cost the Cowboys wins through his failure to manage the clock, an inability to circumvent a porous offensive line with effective play calling, and a pension to abandon the run. Tony Romo has struggled to perform with a predictable and desperate offense while under constant pressure. With a top-ranked defense and one of the game’s best defensive coordinators, there is no reason for the Dallas Cowboys to be so notably inept. Jason Garrett is the only one to blame.
When Sean Payton left the Dallas Cowboys to pursue a head coaching opportunity with the New Orleans Saints, the position was far from lucrative. His starting quarterback was recovering from a devastating shoulder injury, the city was in ruins, and the team was far from elite. Sean Payton built the Saints into a powerhouse and led them to a Super Bowl win. After all he’s done for the city and the franchise, it’s hard to imagine Sean Payton walking away.
That said, the New Orleans Saints have done very little to defend the reputation of their talented head coach. After being suspended in highly controversial fashion, Payton has now had his contract extension voided. While players appeal their suspensions and pursue their rights during Roger Goodell’s latest power trip, no one appears to have the back of one of the most respected personalities in Saints history. Sean Payton has certainly earned the right to explore other opportunities.
Still, of all the dysfunctional teams in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys are likely the most absurd. Despite the extremely controversial suspensions levied by the league in response to bounty allegations, the New Orleans Saints may still be a less tumultuous situation for a head coach. Jerry Jones, who recently admitted he probably should have fired himself from his lifelong position as GM, is an absolute chore to coach under. With freedom, respect, and success in New Orleans, it’s hard to see Sean Payton leaving the New Orleans Saints any time soon.
It’s fun to speculate about possible destinations for Sean Payton this offseason, but it seems highly unlikely the Dallas Cowboys could land their former coordinator. They need a new coach, but they simply won’t be able to reel in Sean Payton.