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Sean Payton hasn't asked to attend Saints-Cowboys

Sean Payton's future hangs over the entire New Orleans Saints franchise, especially with this week's game against the Dallas Cowboys approaching. A Saints win could help push Cowboys coach Jason Garrett out the door and potentially open a door for Payton.

Payton, who's serving a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints' bounty saga, has smartly stayed quiet over the last few weeks, and that won't change Sunday. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Payton hasn't requested permission from the NFL to attend his team's game Sunday. Payton lives in the Dallas area and did watch one Saints game in person this year when Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas' NFL record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass.

Payton's presence at the game Sunday only would be a distraction after a week's worth of comments by players on both sides trying to avoid the issue. That said, we wouldn't be surprised to hear a well-sourced report or two about Payton's status before the game. Fox Sports insider and NFL Network contributor Jay Glazer reported last Sunday that Payton would "keep all his options open" if he can't reach a new contract agreement with the Saints.



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I've done local radio in New Orleans this month, and Payton's future is the only topic the Saints' fan base is concerned about. It's also dominating the local newspapers this week. With jobs becoming available in a couple of weeks, it won't be long before Payton will have to make his intentions more clear.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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