Jerry Jones commits to Mike McCarthy for 2022, squashes Sean Payton rumors

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Jerry Jones commits to Mike McCarthy for 2022, squashes Sean Payton rumors

Sean Payton is not bound for Dallas — at least not yet.After stepping down as Saints head coach after 16 seasons Tuesday, the Cowboys seemed like a

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Sean Payton is not bound for Dallas — at least not yet.

After stepping down as Saints head coach after 16 seasons Tuesday, the Cowboys seemed like an obvious landing spot. Payton quickly denied the rumors, saying he definitely wouldn’t be coaching in 2022. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has now put the kibosh on any speculation, committing to McCarthy for at least next season.

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones looks over warm ups before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones looks over warm ups before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on December 02, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

“He’s well aware of our relationship and long-term friendship with Payton,” Jones said Friday, via 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “I haven’t talked to Sean. I’m not part of any dialogue or any decision-making relative to him leaving New Orleans. My point is, we had our heads down, getting this staff in shape, particularly at the top, the coordinator level.”

McCarthy will return for his third season patrolling the sidelines of Jerry World, needing to win big to keep his job. Despite Dallas’ 12-5 record in 2021, once again, the Cowboys went home early. A 23-16 loss to the 49ers in the NFC Wild Card round meant it was the Cowboys’ 11th consecutive playoff appearance without reaching a conference championship game.

FILE - Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy looks on at the sideline during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Nov. 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. 

FILE – Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy looks on at the sideline during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Nov. 25, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. 
(AP Photo/Matt Patterson, file)

The defense, however, served as a bright spot in its first year under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Dallas gave up just 21.1 PPG in 2021, after surrendering 29.6 in 2020. Quinn became sought after on the head coaching market, turning down offers to sign an extension with the Cowboys.

In the end, keeping continuity on the coaching staff was a big reason in retaining McCarthy.

“The idea of Mike twisting in the wind wasn’t the case at all,” Jones said. “We were trying to keep Dan Quinn and maintain continuity on the coaching staff.”

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 9, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. 
(Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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Jones will now have to do his best to keep offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in place, as his name is hot on the market as well. Moore has thus far interviewed for the Dolphins, Jaguars and Vikings.

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