Jerry Jones made a mistake seven years ago. But the recent news concerning the voided contract of New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton might give the Dallas Cowboys’ owner and general manager a chance to redeem himself. Jones knows he’s running out of time and he is certainly out of patience. This move could be exactly what the Cowboys’ franchise needs to get back to the Super bowl.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Payton’s contract extension through 2015 was voided by the league and he will become a free agent after this season. The league’s disavowing of his contract was based on the Bounty Gate suspension of Saint’s general manager Mickey Loomis and the language within said extension.
Schefter went on to predict the Cowboys as the possible landing location for Payton, if he decides to leave New Orleans. Payton has numerous ties to Dallas and it’s franchise. He lives in the Dallas area, for one. Payton has a home in New Orleans, but his family resides in Westlake. He was also the Cowboys’ assistant head coach and quarterback’s coach from 2003-2005. Payton is known to be the driving force behind the signing of undrafted quarterback Tony Romo from Eastern Illinois University, which happened to be his alma mater.
Payton left the Cowboys in 2006 to head coach the Saints. It was bad timing for the Cowboys as Dallas head coach Bill Parcells retired following that season. Payton could have easily been the Cowboys next head coach. Instead, Dallas ended up hiring Wade Phillips from the San Diego Chargers. Payton went on to lead the Saints to their first Super bowl appearance and victory in franchise history just three years later.
If you want to know how important Payton is to the Saints, just look at this season without him. In 2011, the Saints had a record of 13-3, tied for the best record in team history. This year, without Payton who was suspended for his part in the Bounty Scandal, the Saints have a record of 2-5 going into Week Nine.
Right now, Payton’s life is all about change. Which is another reason why Dallas might be inviting. Payton recently divorced his wife of twenty years. By the end of his suspension, he will have had a year away from football to reassess his priorities and seek new challenges. Currently, Payton is the “offensive assistant” for his son Connor’s sixth grade middle school football team, the Liberty Christian Warriors. Family may be the main reason for Payton to come back home to coach.
After Sunday night’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the Cowboys playoff hopes are thinner than ever. And current head coach Jason Garrett should not be employed by Dallas after this season if the Boy’s miss the playoffs…again. His questionable play-calling and poor clock management have cost the Cowboys too many games not to be on the hot seat. And if Payton is truly on the market after this season, I don’t see why Jerry Jones wouldn’t jump at the chance to get a proven winner, known friend and a real culture changer in the head coaching position. Especially over someone like Garrett who seems to have a lot more to learn about coaching on the NFL level.
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