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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy could be hearing from Sean Payton soon

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Sean Payton says it’s a good idea to call Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy amid rumors about HC - Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report

Who else would like to listen in on that conversation?

Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy apparently doesn’t have to watch over his shoulder for Sean Payton potentially taking his job.

Payton told PFT Live he hasn’t spoken to McCarthy since retiring, but he might reach out to put McCarthy’s mind at ease (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk):

“You know what, it’s a good idea because I felt like it took place for a while with Jason Garrett, a good friend of mine who I coached with at the Giants. Still a close friend to this day, and I consider Mike someone who’s a close friend. Mike’s done it long enough. We both entered the league as head coaches the same year in ‘06. We’re of the same age and we’re of the same background. Look, our paths have been different. I’m his big fan, and I think he’s one of those guys who’s a fantastic coach.”

As Florio noted, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has long been a fan of Payton and nearly hired him in 2019. It’s enough to create speculation, especially with McCarthy already on the hot seat.

Micah Parsons gives Joe Burrow bulletin-board material before Bengals vs. Cowboys in 2022 - Bill Riccette, Bengals Wire

Joe Burrow, a Top 5 quarterback!?

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons was among those taking in the sights, sounds and festivities of Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI. The Defensive Rookie of the Year also took time to chat with Bleacher Report and was asked his top five quarterbacks in the league.

Patrick Mahomes. Josh Allen. Aaron Rodgers. Kyler Murray. A tie between Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott.

When asked about Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow, Parsons simply said one word. “No.”

”Some games, he would have a day. Some games, he’s not there,” Parsons added about Burrow.

Parsons did add that he believes Burrow is a top-ten quarterback and seemed to carefully choose his words at the end, but briefly mentioned Burrow’s game against the Bears as one of those “not there” games. Burrow threw three interceptions in Cincinnati’s 17-10 loss in Chicago.

3 key areas Cowboys need to improve to avoid a repeat of 2021 - Ben Grimaldi, Cowboys Wire

Where do the Cowboys need to improve the most in 2022?

Discipline

The Cowboys were the most penalized team in the NFL this season, that’s wholly unacceptable. Despite having a valid number of questionable calls against them, Dallas cannot get the reputation for being an undisciplined team and then wonder why things seem slanted against them.

Twice this season the Cowboys were called for 14 penalties, including the biggest game of the season, the wild card loss in the playoffs.

Penalties also came at the worst time. Defensive end Randy Gregory’s inexplicable holding call cost the Cowboys valuable seconds against the 49ers and there were numerous offensive penalties that wiped out large gains.

The 1 prospect every NFL team needs to grab in the 2022 draft - Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

Would the Cowboys draft yet another linebacker in the first-round?

Dallas Cowboys: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Current Top Pick: No. 24

The Dallas Cowboys have the 2021 Defensive Rookie of the Year in linebacker Micah Parsons. Would the Cowboys really use a first-round pick on a linebacker in back-to-back years? They should.

While Parsons was fantastic, the Cowboys run defense was not. Dallas ranked a respectable 16th in rushing yards allowed but 23rd in yards per carry allowed. Adding another run-defending linebacker at the second level could help Dallas tremendously.

Plus, the Cowboys are set to lose linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in free agency. He started 16 games in 2021 and played 58 percent of the defensive snaps.

Georgia’s Nakobe Dean could be the perfect replacement for Vander Esch as a chase-and-tackle linebacker in Dan Quinn’s defense.

“Not only does he have easy sideline-to-sideline range, but he also has the explosiveness to fire downhill with great speed and the smooth hips to redirect himself in space, making him capable of finding the ball-carrier no matter the angle,” Derrik Klassen of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

Dean had 36 solo stops, 10.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and two interceptions with the Bulldogs this past season.

Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt shares which Bengals player could be underrated in the Super Bowl - Jori Epstein, USA Today

Can you imagine a Cowboys defense with T.J. Watt and Micah Parsons?

On NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, who finished in second place in Defensive Player of the Year voting: “I briefly met him [at NFL Honors] and just shook hands with him and said congrats on a great season. I think as a rookie, to have the year he had is so special. Just seems like a really humble guy, can do it all on the defensive side of the ball.

“I think the most important thing for him is the versatility. He can rush the passer and drop back in coverage and make a lot of tackles. Anybody who’s that impactful is obviously very important to their team. … So I think he’s going to have a great career down there in Dallas.”

On whether he thought the Cowboys might draft him at 28th in 2017, rather than the Steelers at 30th: “I got the call while Dallas was on the clock so everybody thought it was Dallas. But it actually was Coach (Mike) Tomlin. So there was probably a sliver of time when everyone in the room thought it was Dallas, but I knew it was Pittsburgh.”

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