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Jerry Jones says Saints decision should wait

NEW YORK (Nov. 1, 2005) -- Jerry Jones believes this is not the time to talk about moving the New Orleans Saints.

"We have to address the basic situation for the people of New Orleans and the conditions there," the Dallas Cowboys' owner said. "There's no solution today that's acceptable."

The Saints have been based in San Antonio since being driven from New Orleans in late August by Hurricane Katrina. They have practiced in San Antonio and played some home games there at the Alamodome and in Baton Rouge, La.

Their "home opener" was played at the home of their opponent, the New York Giants.

Saints owner Tom Benson has not commented on the team's future.

The team has a contract to play at the Superdome through 2010, but could opt out by Nov. 29 under certain conditions. The building was badly damaged by Katrina.

But there have been reports Benson would like to move the team to San Antonio and has been talking to city officials there. He also fired executive vice president Arnold Fielkow, an outspoken proponent of keeping the team in New Orleans.

On Oct. 31, commissioner Paul Tagliabue attempted to quash the San Antonio talk.

"The Saints are Louisiana's team and have been since the late '60s when my predecessor Pete Rozelle welcomed them to the league as New Orleans' team and Louisiana's team," Tagliabue said. "Our focus continues to be on having the Saints in Louisiana."

Jones, in New York to introduce Sheryl Crow as the halftime entertainer for the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game, said he would have no objection to an NFL team in San Antonio, even though Texas already has teams in Dallas and Houston. The Cowboys have a strong fan base in San Antonio and trained there in the past.

But he emphasized that he's not pushing for it.

"Football has been an inspiration to people who have other troubles," Jones said. "There are problems throughout New Orleans and Louisiana. We owe to those people not to take football from them."

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