Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will almost certainly look to make a flashy hire if he decides not to bring back head coach Jason Garrett next season, and it sounds like his top choice for the job is under contract with another NFC team.
Jon Machota of The Athletic listed several candidates that Jones could target when the season ends, and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is among them. While Payton signed a five-year contract extension at the start of the season, Machota expects Jones to “try anything possible” to get the 55-year-old coach to Dallas.
Payton worked on the Cowboys’ staff as an assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach from from 2003 to 2005. He maintains a close relationship with the Jones family, and there were reports that Jones was talking with him years ago before he signed a previous extension with the Saints. The rumors have persisted since then, and it would not be a surprise if Jones explores a way to land Payton now that he has essentially confirmed he is ready to move on from Garrett.
It would take an awful lot, however. There’s no reason the Saints would want to part with Payton, and the Cowboys would have to surrender multiple high draft picks even if New Orleans had interest in a deal. With the Saints in the middle of another Super Bowl chase and Payton having signed a new contract just months ago, the thought of the coach in Dallas seems farfetched.
Nothing can be ruled out with one of the most prestigious head coaching jobs in sports, but there’s another huge name the Cowboys are eyeing that seems like a more realistic possibility for them.