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NFL rumors: Any team interested in Sean Payton will have to trade first-round pick to Saints

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

If the Cowboys have any inclination towards Sean Payton, it will cost them.

The Dallas Cowboys are sitting on 12 wins with a week to go in the regular season and have secured an appearance in the playoffs for the second straight year. You would think that the sun would be shining rather brightly among the fan base, but that is not always the case with America’s Team.

Pressure is high to win everywhere but when you are an organization that has not tasted the game’s ultimate prize in over a quarter century, patience tends to wear thin. We noted recently here at BTB how Mike McCarthy should be lauded for the job that he has done in Dallas, and it feels like even his most ardent detractors would agree to some extent.

How the Cowboys fare in the playoffs will swing a lot of opinions. If they do not have legitimate success, there will inevitably be those who call for a change at the head-coaching position. Sean Payton has been the name associated with any sort of opening since before any of them truly opened, but we are getting closer and closer to the regular season ending which means his time is coming.

Any team interested in Sean Payton will reportedly have to trade a first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints

While the Cowboys hired a former Super Bowl-winning coach in Mike McCarthy three years ago (how is it already 2023?!) they did just that - hired him. Sean Payton won the Super Bowl one season before Mike McCarthy did and obviously that part of his résumé is something that is attractive to a new employer.

Unlike McCarthy in 2020 though, Sean Payton remains under contract with the New Orleans Saints after he stepped away from the franchise last year. If a team does want to bring him in to lead their program, they are going to have to surrender some sort of assets to acquire him and the latest word around the league is that it is going to take a first-round pick.

As a playoff team the Cowboys will not have a first-round pick within the top 18 selections so we are talking about what would be, at-best (from a New Orleans perspective), the 19th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft (remember by the way that the Dolphins were docked their first-rounder so there are only 31 selections in the first round this year). That is not a cheap price.

Additionally the Cowboys and Jerry Jones would have to take care of dismissing McCarthy which again would be something that Jerry would have to handle himself. Whether or not Jerry and Co. are comfortable hitting the restart on their coaching situation after back-to-back seasons of great regular-season success (in spite of some incredible challenges) is obviously up to them. As noted, playoff losses can make people do things they wouldn’t have otherwise.

It is worth noting that Sean Payton is unlikely going to return to coaching just to be a follower of sorts. He is likely going to want to do things his way with a staff that he wants and will in all likelihood want to build an organization in the image that he sees fit.


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