IRVING – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was born and raised in Dallas, he won a high school state championship at Texas Stadium in 1986 and was once a Cowboys fan. So he admits that Sunday’s game at Cowboys Stadium means a little more to him than some other games.
“I remember that Dallas heyday in the 90s with Troy (Aikman) and the guys,” Brees said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters at Valley Ranch. “They used to have training camp down at St. Edward’s University in Austin. I used to go watch them. So I was a fan of the Cowboys growing up.
“Obviously, they’re a big NFC contender now, so it seems like we’ve played some big games against them over the last seven years. But anytime you go back into that environment playing against that team, that kind of thing, certainly provides a little extra motivation.”
Sean Payton, Brees’ coach in New Orleans from 2006-2011, is currently residing in North Dallas as he serves a season-long suspension for his involvement in the Saints’ alleged bounty scandal. Payton, who will be free to sign with any team in the off-season, has said that he plans to remain with the Saints.
But that hasn’t stopped some from speculating that the Cowboys could be interested in Payton if Jason Garrett is fired at the end of the year, a scenario that seems highly unlikely.
Brees said Wednesday that he isn’t worried about Payton coaching any team other than the Saints next season.
“I really haven’t worried about that,” Brees said. “It seems like there’s been enough going on here for us to focus on and I’ve really tried not to think about that. I’m very confident Sean will be back here in New Orleans.”
Brees later said: “Honestly, I think everybody’s probably making a much bigger deal of this than it needs to be. … Does it give me even more motivation that I know Coach Payton is less than 20 miles away, watching the game on TV, as opposed to a couple-hundred miles away? No, I guess it doesn’t really make a difference to us. He’s always with us, even though we haven’t been able to talk and communicate with him.”