Payton Outcoaches Parcells
IRVING, Tex.--Sean Payton thoroughly outcoached Bill Parcells here Sunday night as his New Orleans Saints beat his former boss's Dallas Cowboys.
Payton has become a top coach of the year candidate after leaving the Cowboys, for whom he served as Parcells's top offensive assistant, to take the New Orleans job in the offseason.
He taught his teacher a lesson Sunday. Payton pushed all the right button as the Saints won, 42-17.
He ran a fourth-down reverse for a first down that set up a touchdown. He got a touchdown on an instant-replay challenge. He called for an onside kick to set up the Saints' final touchdown.
Payton didn't gloat afterward, maintaining that the game wasn't about the coaching matchup.
"Sometimes things just go your way," he said. "This was a game where things went our way and all of a sudden, the numbers got up high."
He said he has a "ton of respect for Parcells."
But it was a one-sided coaching matchup, at least on this night. Parcells got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for throwing his red challenge flag in the final two minutes of the first half. Coaches are barred from making reply challenges in the final two minutes of a half. Parcells was right about the play. The replay official reviewed it and overruled the call, turning a Saints' completion into an incompletion. But the penalty on Parcells set up a Saints' touchdown in the final minute of the first half.
Parcells said he was told by one of his assistants seated upstairs to challenge the play and acted on instinct, never thinking about the rule barring him from challenging.
"It's my fault for doing it," he said.
Payton didn't make a big deal out of his triumph over Parcells. But his players knew what the win meant to their coach. They doused Payton with Gatorade on the sideline to celebrate, and talked in the locker room about their satisfaction that Payton got the victory.
"It was great to get a win for Coach Payton," quarterback Drew Brees said.
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