Cowboys Rumors: Sean Payton focused on two non-Dallas head coaching jobs

Sean Payton, future head coach of the Dallas Cowboys? (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Payton, future head coach of the Dallas Cowboys? (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Has Mike McCarthy bought himself another season or five in Dallas with the team’s impressive 2022 campaign? Or is this roster simply so good that it’s McCarthy proof, meaning the Cowboys should still explore upgrades to maximize their Super Bowl chances?

Either way, the Sean Payton rumors that dominated the offseason are becoming less and less prevalent, while Payton himself may have also shifted his focus.

The 58-year-old ex-Saints coach appears to be enjoying his year away from the bench after slithering out of his New Orleans deal to 100%, absolutely, totally not grab another coaching gig after some time on television. If it happens, that was never his intention, but hey, sometimes things change along the way. You simply have to believe the man.

Payton was a popular pick to lead the Cowboys out of the tunnel in 2023, thanks in large part to his history as an assistant in Dallas, as well as Jerry Jones’ preference to always make the loudest move possible.

According to recent intel, though, Payton has his eyes on two other currently-occupied positions. Sources say Payton is intrigued by the Arizona Cardinals job, which is Kliff Kingsbury’s at the moment, as well as Brandon Staley’s Chargers job.

Cowboys Rumors: Sean Payton not a head coaching fit in Dallas?

Both of those supposed contenders look much worse than the current Mike McCarthy iteration of the Dallas Cowboys, save for one little fourth-quarter implosion in Green Bay.

The Cardinals are spiraling, looking smoother with Colt McCoy under center than with the recently-extended Kyler Murray leading the troops into combat. The Chargers? They’re acting like the Chargers, with Justin Herbert somehow descending into the middle of the pack in the “quarterback greatness” conversation as LA squanders winnable games and fails to weather the injury bug for the 15th straight season.

For what it’s worth, Payton has been an avowed Murray fan in the past, calling his tape “too good” back in 2019. Kingsbury somehow manifested Murray’s arrival in his lap long before he was ever drafted, but the partnership has reached increased levels of toxicity lately.

For what it’s also worth, Jerry Jones is exactly the kind of man who might blow up Payton’s best-laid plans, as well as his own, by taking evasive action depending on how McCarthy’s Cowboys wrap the 2022 postseason.