President Trump tweeted about his Tuesday phone conversation with Jerry Jones after the Cowboys collectively took a knee before the national anthem and then rose to stand for it. The President praised the Cowboys owner.
But, according to Jean-Jacques Taylor of DFW’s NBC affiliate, Trump also called Jones four times Monday to discuss how the Cowboys were going to handle the national anthem.
Jones acknowledged he talked to the President this week but offered few details.
“I’m not going to get into it,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “He did call. He was complimentary, which doesn’t mean that in any way we acquiesced to what he was implying. What we did was exclusive from that. What we wanted to do was basically make a statement and certainly not dishonor the flag.
“Anybody in the United States, for the most part, I’m talking the great majority of people, it’s madness to think that somebody would dishonor the flag. The debate is whether you are dishonoring it or not. That’s where people get their case. So just to stand up there and say a group such as the NFL and our players are doing anything that doesn’t respect the flag is just not something that could be accepted. Our effort specifically said it’s different when the flag is out and we’re going to stand and honor the flag than when it is not out. Where I’m coming from here is the implication that there was some kind of pat on the back or anything like that is really not the case. It was a simple discussion. I know him. I’ve known him for several years. . . . There are many things we don’t agree on.”
Trump tweeted his support of Jones Wednesday, saying, “Spoke to Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys yesterday. Jerry is a winner who knows how to get things done. Players will stand for Country!”
Jones did his best to distance himself from the idea that he ordered the players to stand for the national anthem. Jones presented his idea in a pregame meeting Monday, and the Cowboys decided to go along.
“I don’t have a record here, but I want everybody to know that I’ve asked the players for anything that I might suggest we do. I ask, A-S-K, not tell,” Jones said on his radio show. “We pulled it all out. When I say we, our players, our history, ourselves, our organization, we pulled it all out to come out there and do what we did the other night.”
Jones wouldn’t say how the team will handle the national anthem moving forward, but receiver Dez Bryant said Friday the Cowboys plan to stand as a team this week.
“We’re going to stand,” Bryant said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “We’re going to stand and put our hand over our heart, and we’re going to do what we did before. Y’all know what that was, that was just a response to Trump. That’s all that was.”