FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys haven't completely said "yes'' on the job security of coach Mike McCarthy.
But in the wake of his team's gut-wrenching, mistake-riddled Wild Card playoff loss, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last week admitting, "I've got a lot to think about," there is another possible "yes'' to be addressed.
Tuesday's news of Sean Payton leaving the New Orleans Saints commenced the connect-the-dots to Dallas' doorstep. Sure, McCarthy has three years left on his contract and just led the Cowboys to a 12-5 record, NFC East Championship and ...
Since 2006, Jerry has lamented Payton as the one that got away.
So what about it, coach Payton?
Payton said, “I don’t like the word ‘retirement.”
“That could be coaching again in the future,” he added of his eventual plan.
"But,'' he said, "that’s not where my heart is at all right now.”
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And? What about those Cowboys dots?
“There are going to be ... I can’t control… I felt like 10 years went by and we talked about the other team for a lot.And I get it, I understand it,” Payton said. “But, no, my plans are not to be coaching in 2022. And that’s just how I feel.”
In 2003-05, Payton was the hotshot offensive mind diagramming plays and inventing ways to help the Cowboys and quarterbacks such as Quincy Carter and Drew Bledsoe win 10 games and make the playoffs. Head coach Bill Parcells got the big money and the bigger media attention, but Payton drew interest from around the league as a rising, innovative, offensive genius.
In 2005, Jones stiff-armed the Oakland Raiders’ flirtation with Payton by doubling his salary to $1 million and adding “assistant head coach” to his title. But in 2006, the Saints knocked even harder at Payton’s door and Jones was forced to make a difficult decision: Stick with his 64-year-old, future Hall-of-Fame coach, or fire Parcells and promote Payton.
Hindsight assures us that Jones made the catastrophic wrong move.
Now it's time, in theory, to consider another move. Part ways with McCarthy because of a playoff loss? Bring on Payton because he's "the one who got away''?
But, no, Sean Payton said, and because he was so honest about the rumors, we tend to believe him here. Not coming to Dallas at this time.
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