The Dallas Cowboys tangle with the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and until Sean Payton has a deal in place to return to the team he led to a Super Bowl title, there will be speculation he’ll eventually land with America’s Team.
That’s just the way it works and quite simply leverage is what Payton needs to drive up his price with the Saints even if it appears almost certain Jason Garrett will retain his job as coach of the Cowboys.
Payton, who has a residence near Dallas, is still serving his one-year suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal and most expect him to eventually return to New Orleans. But the team most floated when possible alternative destinations are mentioned is the Cowboys, where he worked previously as an assistant under Bill Parcells, including in 2006 with quarterback Tony Romo.
“Sean’s a great coach, he’s a great guy,” Romo said during a conference call with New Orleans media, according to the Dallas Morning News. “I’m sure as any coach would be leaving the game for a year (or) what you do for — I don’t know how long — the last 20-30 years or whatever he’s been doing it. I think it’s probably difficult.
“But when you look back when you’re probably 60-years-old, 65 or whatever and you look back, it’s probably a good thing for a season sometimes just to get a little break and let you reassess what you really love and what made you passionate about the game in the first place. It can be a benefit in the long run but it probably doesn’t feel great short term.”
Could Romo envision working with Payton again?
“We have a great football coach, and we’re excited about playing this game this weekend,” he said.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune