Sean Payton becoming the Broncos coach ends the long time speculation that he would become the coach of the Cowboys in the near future. The former Cowboys assistant was linked to Dallas for the last year, despite the team not having an opening as Mike McCarthy remains the team’s coach.

On Thursday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones commented on Payton’s new job and the overall direction of the Broncos.

“[I] Think the world of Sean,” Jones said, via Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein. “It’s well-known how much I respect him as a coach. They’ll make an effective team, ownership and coach.”

Payton spent three years as a Cowboys assistant coach, before the Saints hired him as their head coach in 2006. Payton would go on to win a Super Bowl amid a successful run in New Orleans, while Dallas still hasn’t made an NFC championship game since the 1990s.

Therefore, when Payton stepped away from the Saints last year, speculation ran that Jones would eventually want Payton to replace McCarthy in Dallas. However, after the Cowboys divisional round loss to San Francisco, Jones defended McCarthy and said his job “remains safe.”

Jones also praised the Broncos new owners, Rob Walton and Greg Penner, who just finished their first season and made Payton the first hire of their regime.