While some thought Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was caving to pressure from the White House, and some might think ordering his players to stand for the national anthem was paternalistic, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said it was done with the right intentions.
According to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, Garrett said he thought the intention for Jones’ team meeting yesterday was of “love, admiration and respect for the players.”
“He’s very sensitive to some of the issues, as we all are, that the players are talking about,” Garrett said. “We all want to make an impact, and he’s someone that can help the players do that. He wanted to make sure they knew that.”
Of course, he also filled them in on the business aspect of the decision, which a cynic might argue is more important to him than patriotism. He told them they could perform whatever act of protest they wanted prior to the anthem, but he wanted them standing when the song played.
“There’s no question that it’s a complex issue, and that’s why it continues to be in the forefront in a lot of ways,” Garrett said. “I think the biggest thing that we’ve tried to emphasize to our players is, the goal is to make an impact in the community. The goal is to make an impact on what the issues are. I think it’s important to identify the issues and identify the way you can make an impact. I think that was part of Mr. Jones’ message yesterday.”
Of course, with the Cowboys off this weekend, they have time for things to settle a bit. With next week’s owners meetings expected to include heavy discussion of the topic, it gives them further cover from the issue, and Jones’ handling of it.