Imagine replacing Jason Garrett with a coach who understands clock and personnel management. Where would the Dallas Cowboys' record be right now? 4-4, 5-3, 6-2?
The Cowboys have, and have had for years, an amazingly talented roster. Perhaps the most talented bunch of underachievers in league history. Heck, maybe even professional sports history.
Rob Ryan would stay on as defensive coordinator and a new, offensive-minded head coach with a fiery personality could do wonders with the offensive talent available.
Enter Sean Payton.
Everyone's favorite football Columbo, Adam Schefter, reported last Sunday that Sean Payton's contract extension had been voided by the league's front office, potentially making him a free agent next season.
Before we get into why and how he could/should sign with the Cowboys, we need to make a case for him wanting to leave New Orleans.
For me, it's simple. Why would someone want to stay in that type of environment? Payton's reputation has forever been tarnished. The accusations against him and the punishment levied makes Bill Belichick look like a Saint.
But Payton also has a reputation as one of the best head coaches in the NFL. That outweighs whatever he may or may not have known or done in the bounty scandal. He will be the most hotly sought after commodity in the NFL next season.
There are a number of parallels for Payton in Dallas, the obvious one being his time spent as Bill Parcell's assistant from 2003-2005.
More than that, Payton was instrumental in bringing in undrafted free agent Tony Romo at the time as well. Romo hails from Eastern Illinois University, which also happens to be Payton's alma mater. Payton tried to bring Romo to New Orleans before landing Drew Brees.
He owns a house in Dallas and his family lives there. He is very familiar with Jerry Jones and how his presence affects a team.
Another thing that Adam Schefter points out in his report, something that had gone relatively under the radar, is the fact that no team would be able to approach Payton for an interview until the league year ends.
That plays out in favor for Jerry Jones should he decide to dispatch Garrett from his position. He already knows what he'll get in Sean Payton on a much more intimate level than San Diego or Philadelphia do.
Letting go of Garrett would be harder for Jones than a lot of people think. He's backed Garrett's every move and given him unprecedented control over decisions when compared to previous head coaches.
Still, Jones is a winner at heart, and Garrett's 16-16 record as head coach does not sit well with him. If Payton is available and willing to come to Dallas, it's hard to imagine Garrett retaining his job with the Cowboys.
I'll be the first to admit that I've been a big apologist for Garrett. My opinion on the man's head coaching ability has gone night and day in just under a month.
Garrett is a tremendous offensive coordinator. It's real Beautiful Mind stuff the way he sees the game offensively but remember, Russell Crowe was alienated from society for most of that picture.
There's definitely a place for Garrett in the league, or maybe even at the helm of some collegiate program, but it's not an NFL head coaching position.
Not right now anyways.
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