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Report: Cowboys expressed interest in Sean Payton last offseason, part of why Saints extended him

More speculation about Cowboys coaching.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

There are at the very least three (seemingly) more games left for Jason Garrett as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Anything beyond that is murky at the absolute best. Jason Garrett’s Cowboys started off 3-0 this season but since then have gone 3-7 to land at (do the math!) 6-7 before hosting the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

That’s 13 games that Jason Garrett has been afforded in a contract year and to date they have largely been disappointing. Many people expected this would be the result before the first one against the New York Giants was even played, sometimes things are just truly that predictable.

What if Garrett had not coached a single game for the Cowboys this season, though? What if it had been, say, I don’t know, Sean Payton? We know that the Cowboys and Payton have been eerily connected for some time, but did you know that Dallas actually expressed some interest in him last offseason? That is what is being reported today.

Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday morning that the Cowboys did some digging to see if Payton was available. Ultimately, though, this all apparently led to Payton utilizing said interest as a tool in his negotiations with the New Orleans Saints which is how he got his latest extension. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride are the Cowboys.

Despite this not materializing, this is very interesting for the Cowboys. If they were expressing interest in Payton before the season began, they clearly weren’t all the way in on Jason Garrett? While some could (to a somewhat successful degree) argue that was unfair for Garrett, the reality is, to that point, the Cowboys head coach had eight seasons to succeed and that would force his team to not want to look elsewhere. Despite taking his team to the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season, it clearly wasn’t enough.

Why then did the Cowboys march forward with Garrett? If they had interest, any interest, in someone else, wasn’t that enough for them to know that Garrett wasn’t the guy? Why risk a season with someone who you’re not that committed to? It sounds like settling.

What’s more is that Ian Rapoport reported some names that could be connected to the Cowboys head coaching job if it does ultimately come available. None of them are surprising, but keep your tabs on Ron Rivera, Urban Meyer, Matt Rhule, and Lincoln Riley.

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