The Dallas Cowboys suffered a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday afternoon. The NFC East champs went home empty-handed and are now left looking for answers about where to go from here.
Among the possible major changes that Dallas could make is to swap out Mike McCarthy. The Jones family has seemingly committed to the second-year head coach next season, but if an assuredly better option were to become available, the Cowboys probably wouldn't hesitate to make a move.
Earlier this week, former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi made an interesting proposition for the Cowboys. He said that he believes Jerry Jones would consider letting go of McCarthy if he had an opportunity to lure New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to Dallas.
“Now, there has always been a linkage between the Dallas Cowboys and Sean Payton,” Lombardi explained on the January 17 edition of The GM Shuffle podcast. “The Jones family loves Sean, Sean loves Dallas, Sean loves the Jones [family]. There’s a mutual, mutual love affair going on there. Can Sean get out of [his deal]? He has one year left on his contract with the New Orleans Saints. Can he get out of that? Is he allowed to get out of that? Could he just go walk over to Dallas?
“I don’t know, I’m not trying to spread rumors. ... Would Jerry fire McCarthy if he had a chance to get (Payton)?''
Lombardi went on to note that "this week will be very fascinating to see if Sean does in fact come back to New Orleans or decides to walk away or what happens and I think that could motivate Jerry into a decision.''
It's difficult to see Payton leaving New Orleans, a place where he's become a staple of the Saints franchise. However, Jones and the Cowboys have plenty of sway and could surely pull out all the stops if they wanted to bring Payton aboard.
Nevertheless, Dallas seems committed to McCarthy at this time. Perhaps that will change in the coming weeks, but for now the Cowboys appear prepared to move to 2022 with him at the helm.