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Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Sean Payton Rumors: 'He Shouldn’t Be a Conversation Piece'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 17, 2022

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 16: Owner and President of Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones speaks during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Host City Announcement at the AT&T Discovery District on June 16, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Omar Vega/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once again denied any connection to Sean Payton when asked about the former New Orleans Saints coach on Thursday.

"Sean Payton shouldn't be out there (discussed)," Jones told reporters. "For him, the Cowboys, that's just sheer out of the air. It's well known we're good friends and we think a lot of him as a head coach. But in this case, asking the way you're asking, he shouldn't be a conversation piece."

There has been speculation about Payton joining the Cowboys since he stepped down as coach of the Saints earlier this offseason, but Jones reassured Mike McCarthy this is his job for now.

"Mike has got an opportunity here to win a Super Bowl," Jones added. "That's really the measurement that I look at. But it's also an eternity between right now and next year."

McCarthy has also been asked about the Payton situation this offseason and clearly hasn't enjoyed it.

"It's a narrative I don't want to be a part of," McCarthy said in March. "I don't think anyone wants to be a part of it – on either side of the fence. In fairness to Sean, he's being asked the questions. Nothing good comes out of that."

Payton, meanwhile, moved out of coaching altogether and joined Fox for a studio role in 2022.

The 58-year-old coach could obviously return to the sidelines in 2023, and the Cowboys would be an interesting fit. Payton spent three seasons in Dallas from 2003-05 as an assistant head coach under Bill Parcells, while Jones has noted his close connection.

The Cowboys are also well-built for success with a franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott, something Payton didn't have in New Orleans once Drew Brees retired. Dallas had the No. 1 offense in the NFL in 2021 both in points scored and total yards.

If McCarthy falls short of expectations in 2022, Payton could be available to turn things around a year later.

The job still belongs to McCarthy for now, and there are high hopes heading into next season after last year's 12-5 finish.