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Cowboys coaching rumors: The latest on Kellen Moore, Dan Quinn - and Sean Payton

It is all still rumor and supposition, but we are getting closer to resolution for the Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL coaching market has been unusually slow in 2022. It leaves the Dallas Cowboys waiting to see what vacancies they might have to fill as both defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore have been on the head coaching interview circuit. We are still waiting for something definite, but that may change soon.

Moore was seen just a couple of months ago as one of the hot names for a head coaching gig, but the desultory end of the season for Dallas has certainly cooled things off. It seems almost certain that he is not going to get hired away according to rumors around the league.

Moore has interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, and Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Moore is not expected to land a new job in this hiring cycle, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.

Moore presented well in interviews. But at least one hiring committee came away wondering if he has the commanding personality and leadership style to stand in front of an entire team and grab players’ attention. What this means for the Cowboys going forward is this: Moore will be back with the Cowboys in 2022.

But nothing has cooled off for Quinn. While it looks Brian Daboll has pulled ahead of him for the New York Giants job, there seems to be some real interest from the Chicago Bears.

The Bears have just hired a new GM in Ryan Poles, and he seems to have narrowed his search down to Quinn, former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, and former Cowboys assistant and current Colts DC Matt Eberflus. Some reports have Quinn as Poles’ preferred choice, but that Caldwell is getting a lot of support from ownership. Even if things fall through there, reports persist that Quinn is a favorite for the Denver Broncos. In any case, it still seems inevitable that he will be moving soon.

Meanwhile, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is doing his perennial musing about whether he wants to continue in his job. Normally, this would be seen as a ploy to get a pay raise, one that has worked quite well in the past. But Saints owner Gayle Benson was not exactly brimming with confidence that they would have him for the duration of his contract, which runs through the 2024 season.

It turned out she had a good grasp of the situation, as a report has just broken that Payton is indeed leaving his current job.

That is interesting for Cowboys fans. There has been a long standing and barely disguised passion for Payton to take the head coach job in Dallas. That passion belongs to owner Jerry Jones. Further fueling the fire is that Payton maintains a residence in Dallas. However, there are also reports that while Jerry might want to bring Payton back to the place he first rose to prominence, while his son Stephen is committed to keeping Mike McCarthy this year. Stephen’s role in the organization has been growing over the years, so he and his father would need to get on the same page.

Jerry still is at the apex of the organization, and he could exert his ownership status and make the move to try and get Payton. It could still involve some kind of trade since the Saints have rights to Payton, so it is hardly a done deal. But if it should happen, Moore may find himself on shaky ground as Payton will probably bring in his own staff.

We have little hard data and a lot of rumors. We will keep you posted as things come into focus.