IRVING ,Texas - Jason Garrett isn't naïve to it. While his focus was on beating the Falcons Sunday night, even the Cowboys' head coach was aware of the rumors that had circulated throughout the day.
With the news Sean Payton could be a free agent coach next season now that his current contract has been voided by the Saints, it brought up the natural link back to the Cowboys.
Never mind that Jerry Jones has said numerous times he supports Garrett and said he has no interest in making a change. And never mind the fact NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Payton and the Saints can restructure a new deal at any time.
With the Cowboys 3-5 and a familiar, and yet successful coach possibly on the market, it's only natural for there to be intrigue.
Garrett said he was aware of the Payton speculation, but promised it didn't affect his focus for the game.
"There's a lot of stories that circulate around our game," Garrett said Monday afternoon. "So certainly some people bring those kinds of things to my attention, but again we're focus on what we need to do. We had heck of a challenge (Sunday night) in Atlanta, trying to play an undefeated team so that's where our attention was. Trust me, I'm focused on what we need to do and I'm just focused on coaching this team as best I can and getting our team to play as well as we can play."
Obviously, Garrett feels his team can play better in the second half of the season. But it doesn't sound like his confidence has wavered despite the slow start.
"I great about the guys I'm coaching with. I feel great about the players that we have," Garrett said. "We've just got to buckle down and we've got to go get a win. It's important. We've been challenged by some good opponents over the course of the first half of the season. We've done some good things, but we haven't done enough good things against those teams to win the games. So we have to learn from those experiences and go get a win this week."