Another campaign ends in disappointment for the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s been 25 years since they reached the NFC Championship Game and they have won only one playoff game in the last six seasons.
Despite a promising 2021, the Cowboys season ended with a shocking defeat at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
That result prompted Jerry Jones to express his disappointment on Mike McCarthy during a recent guest spot at radio station 105.3 The FAN.
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 21, 2022
Reading between the lines, Jones is essentially throwing McCarthy under the bus, making a head coaching change imminent.
Therefore, could it be that the Cowboys will make a push to hire Sean Payton?
Unfortunately, the team’s fortunes might be vastly different if they promoted the former New Orleans Saints head coach long ago.
What Could Have Been
The Cowboys might have won a Super Bowl in recent years and constantly produced ten-win seasons in an alternate universe.
Instead, that fate happened to the Saints when they hired Payton in 2006.
He became New Orleans’ head coach a year before Bill Parcells was let go by Dallas.
It’s frustrating to note that Payton was already in their backyard as quarterbacks coach from 2003 to 2004 and passing game coordinator in 2005.
Had they promoted him a year earlier, the Cowboys might not bother hiring another head coach for the next 16 seasons.
Sean Payton leaves the Saints with some amazing numbers 👏 pic.twitter.com/ZG8wBpk42Z
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 25, 2022
But Jones can’t seem to find the right man for the job, hiring three more head coaches during Peyton’s tenure with the Saints.
Based on their recent failure, a fourth coach could be on the way.
He might not share it publicly, but Jones must be feeling regret for not promoting Payton back then.
Parcells is one of the best coaches in NFL history, but he had his confrontations with Jones.
A little foresight could have the Cowboys in a better position over the years.
Payton Prefers Exploring Other Options
The Cowboys can try to persuade Payton to make a return on the sidelines.
After all, they still have great players on both sides of the ball.
One last photo: Sean Payton leaves the building after his press conference at Saints headquarters pic.twitter.com/uCdlTzWklR
— Michael DeMocker (@MichaelDeMocker) January 26, 2022
However, there are roadblocks to possibly bringing him to Texas.
First, the Saints still have him under contract, and they are entitled to trade compensation if another team gets him.
Second, his heart is not in coaching for now.
During his exit press conference, Payton mentioned that while he’s not closing the door on a coaching return, he doesn’t see himself commanding the sidelines in 2022.
Instead, he wants to explore other options like becoming an analyst on television.
Sean Payton addressed what may be next in his career:
"I still have a vision for doing things in football, and I'll be honest with you, that might be coaching again at some point. I don't think it's this year … that's not where my heart is right now."
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 25, 2022
He deserves a break after the constant grind of being an NFL head coach.
Therefore, the Cowboys have no shot of getting Payton in the near future.
If Jones wants to change things, they’re better off promoting one of their coordinators.
As cheesy as it sounds, the Cowboys must move on from the dream of getting Payton.
That false hope may bring more uncertainty to the positives they already have.