Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he still believes that all players wearing the uniform of a National Football League team should stand when the national anthem plays. However, Jones stopped short of saying the Cowboys will make it mandatory for players to do so when the 2020 season kicks off.
Jones says he has talked to several people to garner opinions regarding how he, as the owner of the franchise, should handle the situation. The people Jones spoke with include both current United States President Donald Trump and an unnamed former president of the country. He has also spoken to numerous current and former players on the matter.
In a recent interview, Jones said he intends to “show grace” and expects nothing less from the players on his team. Jones also expressed an understanding of the matter’s sensitivity. The comments from Jones happened while speaking to the media for the first time in more than three months.
Jones says he is allowing everyone within the organization with an opinion to voice them internally. He says the subject is one on which many players and coaches on both sides of the issue possess genuinely strong views.
The owner of America’s team said his job is not only running a sports franchise before acknowledging it is also his responsibility to “do what is right.”
The subject of anthem protests has followed the Dallas Cowboys since it first became an issue in 2017. Jones’ initial response to questions regarding players not standing for the anthem was the affirmation that Cowboys’ players would stand with “toes on the line” when the anthem played. When asked about that statement now, the Cowboys’ owner says much has changed since that time.
Jones joined his players on one knee before a 2017 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The symbolic gesture took place before the anthem began to play. When the anthem played, Jones stood arm in arm amid Cowboys’ players and the coaches.
Two players joined the Cowboys a season ago who had executed strong protests while with their previous teams. Robert Quinn came over from Miami and protested with a closed fist when the anthem played during his final season with the Dolphins. Michael Bennet played for the Patriots before becoming a Cowboy and remained in the locker room during the anthem in New England. Both mean stood for the anthem a season ago in Dallas, although Bennet made it a habit to pace back and forth when the song played.
Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy are two Cowboys’ players who seemed a bit dissatisfied with the fact Jones made no public comment regarding social unrest across the nation. The duo also wanted their boss to condemn the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Jones has yet to speak with either of the players personally on the matter.
Jones says he is interested in the thoughts and feelings of all members of the Cowboys organization. He says he is willing to listen but maintains that any action taken by the organization will demonstrate the grace and sensitivity the Cowboys wish to display as an organization during a troubling time for many people in the country.
Dak Prescott is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and says he tried to consider Jones’ silence on the matter from a franchise owner’s perspective. Prescott explains his boss needed a little time to process the views of people around him before expressing his own. Prescott says Jones has a background that is different from most people. The team’s star quarterback says his words are not to suggest his owner is unable to relate to other people. However, his opinion is that Jones wanted to make sure he understood what other people are experiencing before chiming in on the matter.