Video in the player above is AUDIO only from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones. Audio was recorded by NBC 5 Sports Reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor.
Owner Jerry Jones is bluffing, when he says anybody who disrespects the flag won’t play for the Dallas Cowboys.
I know it. So do you. And if we gave Jerry some truth serum, we’d find out he knows it too.
What if Dak Prescott takes a knee before a game? How about Jason Witten? What about Ezekiel Elliott, Sean Lee or Dez Bryant?
If any of those players kneeled during the anthem, Jerry wouldn’t do a thing.
There’s a lengthy list of players I can think of Jerry wouldn’t sit if they took a knee while the national anthem played, but that’s not why he took such a hard stance on anthem protests Sunday night after the Green Bay Packers beat the Cowboys’ 35-31 at AT&T Stadium.
Jerry was simply trying to assure his advertising partners that he understands they don’t want the Cowboys associated with any flag protests.
“Under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys - I don’t care what happens - under no circumstances will we as an organziation or as coaches and players not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag,” Jerry said outside the Cowboys’ locker room.
That’s about the time a reporter informed Jerry that Damontre Moore and David Irving had raised their fists at the conclusion of Sunday’s national anthem. No other Dallas players gestured before or after the anthem; Green Bay’s players linked arms during the anthem.
Jerry: “…If there is anything that’s disrecptful to the flag then we will not play. You understand? If we’re disrespecting the flag we won’t play. Period.”
Reporter: The players?
Jerry: “Yes, of course. We’re going to respect the flag.”
Jerry then made it clear that he wasn’t aware Moore and Irving had raised their fists. Now, the odds are slim that he’d bench Irving, who had two sacks against Green Bay, but Moore is another story.
He’s purely a role player. He’s expendable.
The reality, though, is the Cowboys are the most valuable team in professional sports at $4.1 billion, and Jerry doesn’t want that affected. This is about money. And advertisers.
You’re fooling yourself if you look at it any other way.
After all, Jerry sure didn’t take a hard stance like this with Greg Hardy, who escaped a domestic violence conviction on a technicality. There have been all kind of players with shady backgrounds Jerry has vouched for over the years, but a peaceful protest against police brutality and a quest for equality by players has him up in arms.
Lucky for Jerry, no one is going to challenge his empty threat. None of his best players are interested in being the epicenter of the protest in Dallas for a variety of reasons, which is their right. And none of the Cowboys’ marginal players want to be an example.
So Jerry gets to send a bluster-filled message to his advertising partners, knowing it’s going to go unchallenged by the 53 players on the roster.
Understand, former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests last year by taking a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality, while asking America to keep her promise of equality.
Kaepernick’s message has been hijacked by agenda-driven politicians who claim day after day the protests are directed at the flag and the veterans who fought in wars - some of whom gave their lives - to protect the rights we hold dear in this country.
President Donald Trump ignited the latest wave of protests by NFL players over the last two weeks, when he launched a personal attack on players who protested during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said at a political rally in Alabama
“You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
In the 48 hours before their Monday Night game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 25, the Cowboys spent considerable time discussing how they would react to the president’s words. A group of players met with Garrett, who also addressed the team.
Then Jerry, who received multiple phone calls from the president leading up to the game, decided he would kneel with the players and coaches before the game in show of prayer, unity and equality. Then they would all lock arms and stand while the anthem played.
Jerry gets furious, when you suggest he worked behind the scenes and made a deal with the president to get the players not to kneel during the anthem, but it’s hard for a reasonable person to see it any other way.
Vice President Mike Pence attended the San Francisco-Indianapolis game on Sunday but left after some players kneeled during the anthem.
“The whole deal is political, and it has been incited by politics,” Jerry said. “Let me be real, real clear the thing the National Football League needs to do and the Dallas Cowboys are going to do is stand for the flag. Were going to do that.
“There’s no equivocation. We’re going to stand for the flag.”
There’s too much money at stake not to kneel. Jerry’s losing football games this year, he has no interest in losing money too.