Recent talk around the Dallas Cowboys has been about former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, and it’s because of one word in particular – former. Tuesday brought the news that Payton, who served on Bill Parcells’ Dallas staff in the early 2000s, is moving away from the Saints. It fuels a story as old as the time that he could end up returning to the same Cowboys organization that saw him leave in 2006 and go on to have all the success he did.

Until this year, Payton flirting with leaving the Saints was something of an annual offseason trope; however, it is very real as he is now officially done with this organization. It’s possible that Payton may be coaching another NFL team (it could even be as soon as this coming season), but all reports point to him wanting to get away from football, not to mention the Saints would have right to compensation from anyone who wanted it. to hire him.

The Cowboys were going to trade for Payton at the start of 2019 … until Anthony Davis wanted to leave the New Orleans Pelicans

Whether or not Payton will become the coach of the Cowboys in the future is obviously something that has yet to be decided, but according to an NFL insider, he came close to becoming their head coach in the past. Like very close.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk has a book coming out soon called playmakers, and following the Payton news, he decided to share a snippet of it where he notes that the Cowboys were set to trade for Payton in early 2019 until Anthony Davis asked to be traded from the New Zealand Pelicans. Orleans. Yes. You read all these words correctly.

It was a delicate situation, for various reasons. First, the Cowboys had a coach. Jones wouldn’t have fired Garrett if he hadn’t known he could have had Payton. Second, league rules (especially the Rooney rule) require diverse and inclusive research. Third, Jones had to finally know that after going through the motions of a search, he would be able to get Payton.

An agreement has therefore been reached, behind the scenes. The Saints reportedly allowed the Cowboys to sign Payton. The Cowboys reportedly compensated the Saints for the rights to Payton’s contract. And Payton reportedly signed a new contract with the Cowboys.

It was ready to go. It was happening. It was locked and it was loaded. Then came Monday, January 28. That day, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis announced he would not sign another contract with the team and requested a trade. (In July, the Pelicans traded him to the Lakers.)

Gayle Benson owns both the Pelicans and the Saints. Saints GM Mickey Loomis was, as of January 2019, the executive vice president of basketball operations with the Pelicans. Once Davis made his intention to leave New Orleans clear, Loomis told Payton that Loomis couldn’t be the common thread between two such high-profile departures from Louisiana.

That finished him, just like that. The Saints were no longer interested in essentially trading Payton to the Cowboys. In September, Payton signed a new contract. There are three years left on this agreement.

Anthony Davis now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, which is odd to be relevant to the Dallas Cowboys, but here we are. The fact that Gayle Benson didn’t want to reject two New Orleans legends isn’t exactly a far-fetched idea, but how could that have been? so close be done without finally arriving? !

The Cowboys ended up keeping Jason Garrett for one more season before signing Mike McCarthy. For what it’s worth, McCarthy was available at the same time that near-trade would have taken place in early 2019, as he was let go by the Green Bay Packers a few months prior. If having a Super Bowl winner was the most important thing for the Cowboys, they could have hired McCarthy back then, but McCarthy isn’t Sean Payton, which means he’s not the one they want. seen leaving their organization and being successful elsewhere, kicking themselves for letting it go.

There’s going to be a lot of smoke surrounding Payton and the Cowboys for the next few months, probably even into next year assuming Payton isn’t coaching anyone yet. He will probably do everything to throw kerosene there himself as evidenced by his press conference announcing his departure from the Saints.

Payton recounted 2005 when he lost the Green Bay Packers job to Mike McCarthy during his press conference. Why would he bring this up? This specific story? Why would Mike McCarthy be relevant today everyday?

We probably all know why. And it has nothing to do with the past. It’s about the future.