Former Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley, now with the Bills, has become the face of the anti-vaxxers in the NFL. He has turned Cowboys owner Jerry Jones into the face of the pro-vaxxers in the NFL.
Who could have guessed?
On his weekly radio show Tuesday, Jones was asked about what he would say to players like Beasley who insist the NFL is trying to force them into getting vaccinated.
“I don’t really say anything here,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, via Mark Lane of WFAA, before saying a lot. “To me, this is a team game. We rely on each other to play. We rely on each other to win. We have to have each other. There’s 11 guys out there at any one time to be trite about it. You have to count on the other guy being available, and you certainly don’t want to be doing anything that causes your teammates to not be available. All of that comes to the same conclusion as far as what you agreed to be as far as a player, be part of a team. You check ‘I’ at the door, so to speak. All of those has an answer.
“Everyone has a right to make their own decisions regarding their health and their body. I believe in that completely until your decisions as to yourself impacts negatively many others. Then, the common good takes over. And I’m arm-waving here, but that has everything to do with the way I look at our team, the Cowboys, or the way I look at our society. We have got to check ‘I’ at the door and go forward with ‘we.’ Your Dallas Cowboys are doing that.”
The Cowboys announced Saturday that their player vaccination rate is 93 percent. They have four players and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in COVID-19 protocol, but Quinn, Carlos Watkins and CeeDee Lamb, all of whom tested positive, are fully vaccinated, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Jones, 78, is in the vulnerable population, and with a stadium that averaged more than 90,000 fans in 2019, he has money riding on his team playing in front of a full house. So his stance surely is about both safety and money.
The Cowboys led the NFL in attendance again last season but averaged only 28,187 per game because of COVID-19 protocols.
“Every team, of course, will conform to what the local or state protocols are, and whatever they are they are,” Jones said. “In general, what’s different this year is the vaccine, and the vaccine has removed any realistic concern about the teams competing or the teams competing before a full house of football fans. So, that’s the difference. Last year was certainly a lot more than practice, but last year was an exercise that all the teams went through; the league went through. It was very successful. Your Cowboys, in terms of attendance, were the most successful of all. We’ll remember and use what we learned last year, and we will obviously use that in the fact we have this vaccine available.”