Is Sean Payton the next Cowboys GM?

Is Sean Payton the next Cowboys GM?

Published Feb. 8, 2011 2:26 p.m. ET

For the second time in two days, the New Orleans Saints have moved to deny rumors that coach Sean Payton is heading back to the Dallas Cowboys as their general manager.

Social media reports and speculation have linked Payton with a return to the organization that employed him as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach from 2003-2005 after news emerged that Payton and his family will purchase a home in the Dallas suburb of Westlake and maintain dual residence in Dallas and New Orleans.

The Saints quickly and tersely dismissed any talk of a Payton exit. Saints spokesman Greg Bensel told FOX 8 New Orleans on Monday: "Sean Payton is the Saints' head coach; he is not going to the Dallas Cowboys in any capacity."


Apparently, that reassurance wasn't enough.

One day later, the spokeswoman for Payton's Play It Forward Foundation released a statement assuring Saints fans that he isn't leaving town.

"All of us have a place in our hearts that we want to retire in. For [The Paytons] it's Dallas. With a daughter getting ready to go into high school, this was the time to make that decision," spokeswoman Karen Hester Hegner wrote on the foundation's Facebook page.

"[The Paytons] have been there for [New Orleans] and donated over 1.2 million to help and will continue to. Hope everyone will come to support their family decision and dreams and just be appreciative for what they do.

Later Tuesday, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis released a statement of his own supporting the decision.

"This is a personal family matter for Sean and his family and after discussing it with him, I support his decision," Loomis said. "We spoke of numerous other coaches that have done the same thing successfully."

Everyone from Payton to the Saints organization is certainly moving swiftly to put a lid on this story.