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Cowboys, Jones, Garrett Take Middle Road; Kneel Before Anthem

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys, Jones, Garrett Take Middle Road; Kneel Before Anthem

All of America waited with baited breath for the start of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals football fame Monday night.

What would America’s Team do? Would they stand? Would they kneel? Would they pull a page from the Pittsburgh Steelers and not come out of the locker room at all?

The Cowboy’s answer was to wade down the middle of the road and seek a balance. The team, including owner Jerry Jones, locked arms and kneeled BEFORE the national anthem was played and stood just before the anthem was played. Jones, Coach Jason Garrett and other Cowboys coaches and front office executives locked arms while standing on the field.

During his post-game press conference, Garrett said they had a series of discussions and meetings among players, coaches, leadership council, etc. “talking together, working it through on what we thought the best thing to do was.

The objective was to somehow, some way demonstrate unity. and demonstrate quality and do so without in any way involving the American flag. or National Anthem and this is what we came up with.”

The gesture still received some boos from the crowd.

The Cardinals interlocked arms in a show of unity during the playing of the anthem.

Both events was were the latest show of unity or protest by NFL teams since a political firestorm was unleashed on Friday by  President Donald Trump. On Friday at a campaign rally in Alabama, President Trump said that owners should fire players – whom he referred to as SOB’s – who refuse to stand for the anthem

That tirade set off a wave of protests throughout the sports world, especially the NFL.

Players on many teams chose to kneel for the anthem. Some teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks did not make it out of the locker rooms and were not on the field for the anthem before their games Sunday.

Other teams demonstrated unity with players standing with interlocked arms. Several owners stood on the sideline with their players and locked arms with them.

Jones was the first owner to kneel and before Monday night, no Dallas player had publicly participated in an anthem protest.

“The reason I am particularly proud of this team and the coaches that coach them is that we all agreed that we wanted to make a statement about unity and equality. They are very much aware that that statement when made or attempt to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag can lead to criticism and controversy,” Jones said during his post-game press conference.

“To there credit, our organization said, ‘Let’s first walk out there, kneel in prayer or kneel, and then stand for the anthem still acknowledging the need for unity and equality. It was a coordinated effort, planned and executed and I am very proud of them.

Jones said the Cowboys alerted the NFL as to their plans. The Cowboys went on to win the game, defeating the Cardinals 28-17. They are now 2-1.

Credentialed media member and writer covering the Dallas Stars. | Dorothy J Gentry is an educator and journalist covering the NBA, Mavericks, WNBA, Wings and Dallas area sports & entertainment for Texas Metro News, rotoden.com, Garland Journal, Dallas Sports Fanatic & others. She is a member of the NABJ Sports Task Force.

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