From the moment former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton announced his retirement last January, fans with mediocre coaches perked up at the idea of signing the former Super Bowl champion. But according to recent reports, Dallas Cowboys fans actually have a reason to believe Payton could soon be destined for Big D.
Cowboys fans are certainly on the list of fanbases unhappy with their coaches. Mike McCarthy went 6-10 in year one as the shot-caller in Big D. But Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in week five, and the Cowboys QB situation was a mess for the rest of the year. Last season, Dallas went 12-5 and won the NFC East, but lost at home in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
McCarthy’s play-calling and clock management were called into question after the game. Throughout the regular season, the Cowboys were the most penalized team and had the second-most penalty yardage in the NFL. Mental errors like that always point to a lack of preparation, which is reflective of the coaching staff.
What Payton is looking for in his next job
Payton isn’t 100% confirmed to return for the start of next season, but many NFL insiders feel confident he’ll be back on the sideline very soon.
Here are the three things Payton is looking for in his next gig, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
- Warm weather
- A contending team
- Control over roster moves
With that in mind, Jackson also reported these three teams as Payton’s current preferences: the Cowboys, the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers. Payton also prefers to take over a coaching vacancy rather than see a coach get fired in favor of him. But by naming specific teams, it likely puts each coach on the hot season this season and the possibility of signing Payton would go into the decision to fire a coach. But we appreciate the sentiment, Sean.
Is Payton that much better than McCarthy?
The biggest knock on McCarthy is that he only won a single Super Bowl with future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers when the two were together in Green Bay. Rodgers and McCarthy were together for 13 years, and Rodgers was a starter for 11 of those seasons. The duo had plenty of opportunities to make Super Bowl runs, making the playoffs eight times. But with constant playoff failures on his resume, McCarthy was fired mid-season in 2018.
Payton’s history in New Orleans isn’t all that different. He, too, had a future Hall of Fame QB in Drew Brees. The duo was together for 15 seasons, making nine playoff appearances with only one Super Bowl victory to show for it.
Maybe Payton is looked upon more favorably because he retired from his position with the Saints, while McCarthy had an ugly breakup with Rodgers before being fired. But all things considered, both have a history of racking up regular season wins only to underperform in the playoffs.
If the Cowboys flop in the playoffs again this season, McCarthy will certainly be on the hot seat. But if they fire him to bring in Payton, fans may learn that the grass isn’t always greener.