Prior to the National Anthem, the @DallasCowboys and @AZCardinals shared a moment of unity on the field. https://t.co/RSWQwHTyeD2017-9-26 00:46:07
After the contest, Jones said the demonstration was done because of the "need for unity & equality" even though he was proud the team stood when the flag was unfurled, per Pat Doney of NBC Dallas.
"I wanted our actions to be louder than our words," he continued, per Doney.
David Helman of the Cowboys' official website and Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News added more context to Jones' comments:
David Helman @HelmanDC
Jerry Jones: “We want to stand and respect the flag,” but Cowboys also want to emphasize unity & equality. Jones feels Cowboys did both.2017-9-26 04:22:13
Brandon George @DMN_George
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked directly about what he thought about President Donald Trump's criticism of NFL and words he used: https://t.co/ZiYOIKgqG32017-9-26 04:44:55
Jones also said he wasn't sure if the various forms of protest that took place across the league Sunday were the cause of decreased attendance and ratings, per Michele Steele of ESPN.
As for the players, wide receiver Dez Bryant stressed the sitting president couldn't divide the team, per Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News: "It was a team thing. That's the true definition of unity. Trump can't divide this."
Running back Ezekiel Elliott echoed Bryant's comments, saying, "We just wanted to show unity," per Machota. "We don't agree at all w/ what the President said."
Both Bryant and Elliott mentioned Donald Trump after the president used a Friday rally in Alabama as an opportunity to criticize NFL players who have protested police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. He even went as far as to suggest owners should "get that son of a bitch off the field right now" if a player doesn't stand for the anthem.
He was far from done, as he tweeted Monday that there has been "Tremendous backlash against the NFL" after a number of players and even entire teams participated in forms of protest during Sunday's slate.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement after Trump's comments at the Friday rally and criticized the president's "divisive" remarks.
As for the actual game Monday, Elliott tallied 80 rushing yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Dak Prescott threw for two touchdowns—one to Bryant—and ran for another. The Cowboys defense was also strong with six sacks, three of which came from DeMarcus Lawrence.