Jerry Jones feels bad for New Orleans

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The New Orleans Saints will lose coach Sean Payton for the season for his failure to stop a bounty program.

The team will also lose general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight weeks of the regular season.

Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he's spoken to Payton twice about his suspension.

"I just wanted to as a friend, as a real friend," Jones said Tuesday afternoon at the NFL owners' meetings about Payton, a Cowboys assistant coach from 2003-to-2005. "I just wanted to give him a little love in whatever way you want to call it. I understand the need. I support the commissioner and what we are doing. I understand it. But I feel really bad for him and Mickey and [Saints owner] Tom Benson. I feel bad for them."

The city of New Orleans has gone though so much as a result of Hurricane Katrina, with several sections still not fixed due to the devastating storm.

"It means so much to the fans of New Orleans," Jones said. "I feel bad for New Orleans. I have a very soft spot for them. When they are not yelling for the Saints most of them are yelling for the Cowboys. I feel terrible for the fans of New Orleans. But it is what it is.

"The fans of New Orleans and New Orleans have had to take it on the chin a lot. If anybody can handle this, they can. It still doesn’t make it any easier. I feel terrible for them."

The Cowboys play the Saints this season at Cowboys Stadium.