Jerry Jones Says He Has Cowboys Players' Backs but Won't Compromise on Anthem

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 25, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered an explanation for his decision not to play any Cowboys players who refuse to stand for the national anthem before games.

Jones told ESPN's Chris Mortensen he will continue to support his players regarding other issues but remains inflexible regarding the anthem:

Jones made his stance clear Sunday night.

"We cannot in anyway give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," he said, according to the Dallas Morning News' Brandon George. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag."

Jones told Mortensen that President Donald Trump's continued focus on the protests during the anthem reminded him of a section in the NFL's operations manual regarding the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert shared the section in question:

The NFL Players Association posted a response on Twitter:

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith also spoke about the issue.

"I look forward to the day when everyone in management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the flag stands for, liberty and justice for all, instead of some of them just talking about standing," Smith said, per the Associated Press' Schuyler Dixon (via the Washington Post). "We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue."

As many NFL teams engaged in mass protests during the national anthem last month, Cowboys players took a knee and then locked arms during the anthem in a show of unity before their 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3.

According to Mortensen, Jones believed that demonstration was the end of the issue for the Cowboys.