Bush, who hasn't played since breaking his lower right leg during a Week 2 victory at San Francisco, was listed as questionable against the Cowboys after being limited in the last two practices. But Payton said it was tough to gauge whether or not Bush is 100 percent because the Saints didn't practice at full speed this week, opting instead for light workouts and walkthroughs during the shortened week.
"He has gotten more work this week," Payton said. "I am optimistic, but ultimately you make that decision in what you think is best to play that game."
"He (Payton) just wants to make sure I'm healthy enough to play and that there's no way I could have any setbacks if I step out there, which is understandable," Bush said after practice Wednesday. "I wouldn't want to get out there and have any setbacks out there either. I want to get out there and be able to play and know that I can take shots and punishment and still keep truckin'.
"I'm at that point, but it's up to him to make that final call. Obviously, I respect that, and I understand it, and, obviously, the competitive side of me wants to be out there as soon as possible."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.