'Tis the season for meaningless bowls, ladies and gentleman, and this Sunday will be no different at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The only exception is that this bowl won't be fought for sack of potatoes on some blue field in Idaho.
This bowl will take part as much off-the-field as on, though, in the heart of Texas when the two teams as closely connected to Sean Payton face off.
It is well documented that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Payton have a very close relationship. They usually try to get the better of each other with Payton's swiping of Jones' favorite wine one year at a pre-draft dinner is a well-known example of that.
Those are a couple of factors that go the way of Dallas swaying the former Cowboys assistant to bring a Lombardi Trophy back to Texas. The other one is that his kids are growing up in Dallas.
Blah, blah, blah. I know, I get all of that. I also get that those factors will have no bearing on what Payton decides to do after his suspension is up.
All that's going to matter is what he thinks of the people who he'll be working with and the talent that is in the locker room. And, yes, as much as Payton is "close" to Jones, the Dallas owner has not been too pleasant to work for.
That could be the biggest appeal that New Orleans has, among other things, is an owner who doesn't get int he way. His relationship with Mickey Loomis might be the key that locks the answer, and that doesn't necessarily mean good news for Who Dat Nation.
Here's my little conspiracy theory that I am going to throw out there (that I really hope doesn't happen): Sean Payton's camp is pushing for his suspension to be up after the season instead of after the Super Bowl so that, in case the Cowboys are looking for a head coach, he would be able to get to another team early on in the offseason process.
What if Payton tells Jones that he will only accept the job if he steps down as general manager and hires Mickey Loomis to oversee personnel decisions.
That is a big "if," but noting should be avoided in this story, especially when Jerry Jones has his hand in it. He made things work to bring in a big name coach last time to right the ship in Bill Parcells, but will he do whatever it takes to get the guy who will right the ship in the way that this franchise is used to, you know, Super Bowls.
All of this is a moot point if Jason Garrett beats the Saints this week and takes his team into the playoffs which in not unfathomable because they have already started showing improvement from the pretenders they were earlier in the year.
Coaching decisions like these are never positive when you base them on monetary or family reasons, so that's why reiterate that Payton will make his choice based on the talent on the field and the people he will work with, and to that extent, he will be back in New Orleans next year.
It is ironic that one of the main players in a "bounty" scam will demand his own "bounty" come January.