The job will not be new to Payton. He gained his reputation as an up-and-coming assistant while the OC for Jim Fassell at the Giants. In late 1999, Fassell, a longtime OC himself, turned over control of his sluggish offense to Payton. The Giants responsed with a season high 41 points to beat the Jets. Payton got the job full time and orchestrated the 2000 Giants offense that won the NFC.
Payton's star dimmed somewhat in 2002, when his offense sputtered. By the end of October, New York was next to last in points scored. Fassell took back the play calling duties and jump started the offense, leading New York back to the playoffs. Payton has head coaching aspirations, having interviewed for the Oakland job that went to Norv Turner. Igniting the Dallas offense would also embellish his reputation.