Whether the Saints finish 8-8 or 7-9 this season, we will all remember the week that they went 2-0 against the Cowboys. Nearly a week after a thrilling overtime victory over Dallas last Sunday, news broke on Friday afternoon that Sean Payton and the Saints had agreed in principle to a contract extension. It’s yet to even be determined whether or not the Cowboys will need a coach, but one thing is for sure. If they do, it won’t be Sean Payton.

The extension will be a five year deal with the terms being currently undisclosed. They are believed to be possibly be similar to the deal disapproved by the NFL earlier in the season.

As a grim 2012 season comes to a close, the ray of hope for 2013 is growing brighter and brighter. First, the decision to vacate the suspensions of the players involved in bountygate by Paul Tagliabue assured the Saints that they won’t go in to next season with the possibility of suspensions hanging over their heads. Now getting the winningest coach in New Orleans Saints history back on their sidelines for next year adds much needed stability and leadership. The final battle that’s left to be won, would be to get back a vacated 2nd round pick in the upcoming 2013 NFL draft. Roger Goodell stated that if the Saints cooperated with investigations that they may be re-awarded the pick, but that remains to be seen.

Payton will bring his 62-34 regular season record back to a team that is scrapping to finish the season on a three game winning streak just to get to .500. It’s been fairly obvious that his presence, leadership, and most of all his ingenuity have been largely missed through this roller coaster of a season. With a full off season to prepare, Drew Brees under contract long term, and a defense that is vastly improving and grasping on to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme, the outlook for 2013 looks very bright.

Who Dat?!