The Dallas Cowboys appear to have competition if they intend to recruit Sean Payton to be the team’s next head coach in Big D. Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy reported that the Panthers have an interest in landing Payton and predicts an upcoming “bidding war” between Carolina and Dallas after the coach sits out the season.
“I not only see it, I predict that’s how it’s going to go [bidding war between Panthers and Cowboys],” McCarthy explained during a May 13, 2022 interview on the “Game On with John and Richmond” show. “I think Payton’s going to take a year off, do television. He’s a young man, he’s only 58 years old. It’s amazing the resume you threw out there that he’s done all that. He’s still under 60. And then, I think there’s going to be a bidding war, and I think the Saints are going to charge the sun and the moon if somebody wants to trade for him and I think they’re going to get it. I think they’re going to get a boatload of picks.”
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What Would the Cowboys Have to Trade to Land Payton?
The one thing that is clear is that Mike McCarthy will once again be the Cowboys head coach in 2022, but it is almost as certain that the Payton rumors will hover over Dallas throughout the season. This is especially true if the Cowboys struggle, and it will not be a surprise if Dallas gets off to a slow start with games against the Buccaneers and Bengals to begin the season. McCarthy reported that it could cost a team like the Cowboys as much as multiple first-round picks to acquire the rights to Payton.
“I think the Saints will charge a lot, and I think they’ll get a lot,” McCarthy added. “Let’s start with a first-round and maybe a second-round pick or maybe two first-round picks. But other coaches have gone for surprisingly little. Mike Holmgren went for a second rounder. Herm Edwards in New York went to Kansas City for a fourth rounder.
“You’re right, Jon Gruden went for a boatload. Bill Belichick went for a boatload. Bill Parcells went for a boatload. Is Payton on that level of those three? Would a team be willing to mortgage its future given the fact that first-round draft picks are so valued now in the NFL, I don’t know. It’s going to be fascinating to [see how it plays] out.”
Jones on McCarthy: ‘He’s Well Aware of Our Relationship & Long-Term Friendship With Payton’
Would the Cowboys be willing to give up significant draft capital to land Payton? The team has placed a high value on these draft picks, particularly to help offset the sizable contracts of players like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and DeMarcus Lawrence. How the Cowboys season ends will likely have a major impact on McCarthy’s future and just how aggressive Jones will be with his potential pursuit of Payton.
Jones has commented at length about the Cowboys’ rumored interest in Payton but his remarks have done little quiet the noise connecting the star coach to Dallas. The Cowboys owner attempted to voice his confidence for McCarthy by calling into Dallas’ 105.3 the Fan on January 28, but the conversation drifted towards the Payton rumors on several occasions.
“No, I did not, I did not because we’re sitting here building together our future,” Jones said regarding if he had talked with McCarthy about the Payton rumors. “No, but he’s well aware of our relationship and long-term friendship with Payton. And I haven’t talked to Sean and not a part of any of the dialogue or any of the decision making relative to him leaving New Orleans.
“But my point is, we just really got our head down and getting this staff in shape, particularly at the top, the coordinator level and whether it be the special teams or whether it be offense, defense and frankly, [we’re] still kind of in that area right now regarding Kellen [Moore] until we see where that dust settles there.”