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Cowboys’ Jerry Jones says he hasn’t spoken with Sean Payton, reaffirms commitment to Mike McCarthy as coach


Jerry Jones has never been shy about expressing his feelings for now-former Saints coach Sean Payton. Before taking over in New Orleans in 2006, Payton worked three seasons for Jones as the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach. He shepherded and mentored Tony Romo at the beginning of Romo’s NFL career.

As soon as Payton stepped down as Saints coach earlier this week, rumors began swirling about a reunion between Payton and Jones in Dallas in the near future.

MORE: Why is Sean Payton stepping away from the Saints?

It’s reasonable that those questions started being asked and those assumptions started being made, because Jones sounded noncommittal about current Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy as recently as last week. He finally committed to McCarthy for 2022 during a radio appearance Friday.

IYER: Ranking the eight best replacements for Sean Payton

Jones can say McCarthy’s job was never in doubt as much as he wants, and only he knows how true that is. But what Jones also put out for public consumption Friday was that he hasn’t been in contact with Payton.

Even if Payton won’t be roaming the sidelines in Arlington next season, that didn’t stop Jones from heaping praise on him. 

MORE: What’s next for Sean Payton after stepping away from the Saints?

If Payton were to somehow wind up in Dallas, Jones would first have to buy out the final three years of his contract with New Orleans, which totals at least $45 million. Jones can likely afford that.

Payton said Thursday that two teams contacted him through back channels after he stepped down but he likely won’t be on a sideline next season.

That could bode well for McCarthy and Co. So could Jones’ statement that Payton’s possible availability won’t place added pressure on the Cowboys’ current coaching staff.

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