Despite frequent links between Sean Payton and the Dallas Cowboys, the veteran coach doesn't believe Mike McCarthy's job will be available this offseason.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided the latest on the Cowboys' status:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
From <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLGameDay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLGameDay</a>: With an eye toward Monday night, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cowboys?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cowboys</a> owner Jerry Jones was clear about Mike McCarthy's job status, while <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucs</a> QB Tom Brady will be one of the most interesting free agents in 2023. <a href="https://t.co/MuPsUiey91">pic.twitter.com/MuPsUiey91</a>
"Even Sean Payton doesn't consider this to be a potential opening," Rapoport said. "It seems Mike McCarthy is safe."
Payton stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints last offseason, immediately causing speculation about a link to the Cowboys, where he spent three years as an assistant. McCarthy was even forced to address rumors of Payton taking his job.
McCarthy has proved himself on the field, however, leading the team to a 12-5 record for the second straight season.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones clarified this week on 105.3 The Fan that McCarthy's job is not on the line in Sunday's playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, via ESPN's Todd Archer.
It should cause Payton to look elsewhere for his next job, although he has no shortage of opportunities.
Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the 59-year-old will interview with the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals, and all three are considered "viable options."
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported the Broncos are considered the early front-runner for Payton.
The Los Angeles Chargers could also become an option if they decide to move on from Brandon Staley after the embarrassing 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. The squad blew a 27-0 lead in the playoff game, ending the year on a sour note after barely missing the postseason in 2021.
Rapoport reported last month that Payton would love to remain in Los Angeles—where he is currently living as a television analyst—if the Rams or Chargers job became available.