Everything Jerry Jones does and says is calculated, and so it was with his public edict requiring Cowboys players to stand for the national anthem. The Cowboys owner said his comments were intended to take his players out of the national anthem debate, removing any gray area about the team’s expectations.
“I want them to have the ammunition to tell anybody that asks them to do anything otherwise or demonstrate during that period of time, that ‘I don’t get to play if I do that,'” Jones said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on KRLD-FM. “This is a workplace issue. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding as to where I want the personnel of the Cowboys to be when we’re at the No. 1 workplace we have, which is the field and the sideline on gameday. I want to do everybody a service, as I should in leading the team, and let’s be really clear about what our expectations are.”
The Cowboys are one of only six teams not to have had a player sit, kneel or raise a fist during the Star Spangled Banner over the past two years, according to the Dallas Morning News. Jones said it’s in the best interest of the Cowboys that it remains that way.
He reiterated what he said after Sunday’s loss to the Packers: Cowboys players are expected to stand for the national anthem, and any player who “disrespects the flag” won’t play.
“If you do not honor and stand for the flag in the way that a lot of our fans feel that you should,” Jones said, “if that’s not the case, then you won’t play. That’s nothing new as far as that being my wish or the way I want the Cowboys. As to whether or not I will basically institute or do what I said I would just say . . . I would ask anybody to look at my record relative to what I say I’m going to do, and go from there.”
Defensive linemen Damontre Moore and David Irving raised their fists at the end of the anthem Sunday, but coach Jason Garrett said Monday the Cowboys would not discipline the players for a symbolic act after the anthem.