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Studio vs. Sideline: Potential Next Cowboys Coach Sean Payton Mulling Future

Sean Payton ended speculation about his future in coaching ... by choosing the FOX broadcast studio

In February, Sean Payton stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, and rumors immediately began to swirl about a possible marriage between the Dallas Cowboys and Payton

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones remains committed to current coach Mike McCarthy and Payton told SI back in February, "My focus has shifted to working in media. Right now I want to try something different."

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On Monday, per Pro Football Talk, Payton accepted a position with FOX as a studio analyst. The Super Bowl XLIV-winning coach will work in studio throughout 2022, and it’s believed that he’ll join the Fox NFL Sunday crew on Jimmy Johnson's off days.

Payton was previously reported to have been in the running for a position with Amazon for its NFL broadcasts, and most recently linked to the Carolina Panthers' head coaching position.

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Per PFT, it might be a one-year deal, allowing Payton to test the coaching waters again ahead of the 2023 season.

The NFL Twitter world had some interesting reactions to Payton joining FOX, and at least one fan still thinks the "Payton to the Cowboys" dream is still alive:

Payton still has two years remaining on his contract with the Saints, meaning that if he accepts any coaching job before the 2024 season, New Orleans would require compensation, most likely in the form of draft picks.

Payton coached the Saints for 15 seasons and compiled a 152-89 regular-season record and won the Super Bowl in 2009. In the playoffs, Payton's record is less impressive at 9-8, and has compiled just five playoff wins since the Super Bowl season.