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PFT: Insiders Think Jerry Jones Eyes Sean Payton If Cowboys Lose in 1st Playoff Game

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 24, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 25: Sean Payton former head coach of the New Orleans Saints looks on during the third quarter of an NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on October 25, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Mike McCarthy's seat may be warming in Dallas.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the Cowboys could fire McCarthy and try to hire Sean Payton as their new head coach if they get eliminated early in the postseason.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones previously tried to hire Payton away in 2019 before hiring McCarthy but was blocked by the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys would have to compensate New Orleans to hire Payton this time around—likely via draft picks—but the road will be much less treacherous after the coach retired before the 2022 season.

Payton is widely expected to return to an NFL sideline in 2023.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Payton has already gotten to work building a coaching staff highlighted by former Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio as his potential defensive coordinator. While the coaching carousel might not be as active as it was last season, Schefter reported between 5-7 jobs are expected to be open.

Payton went 152-89 over 15 seasons in New Orleans, making the playoffs nine times and winning Super Bowl XLIV.

McCarthy will be making his second straight playoff appearance with Dallas, but patience could wear thin if the team is one-and-done again.