Jerry Jones, Cowboys Coaches Disagreed on Approach to Anthem During Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2018

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, the Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem and an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale, Ariz. ESPN anchor Jemele Hill has been suspended by the network for two weeks for making political statements on social media.  Hill, who is African-American, received criticism from the network last month after referring to President Donald Trump as a
Matt York/Associated Press

Member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff disagreed with the approach of team owner Jerry Jones to have a show of unity and take a knee prior to the national anthem in the wake of comments made by President Donald Trump. 

The Amazon Prime series All or Nothing followed the Cowboys throughout the 2017 season and included footage detailing behind the scenes the events leading up to Jones kneeling with Cowboys players prior to the team's 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

In a clip posted to YouTube, Jones tells Cowboys players he wants to "walk out there together all of us and kneel down in the name of unity":

However, Frank Pollack, who was the Cowboys offensive line coach, didn't hold back his criticism of how the team handled things, per the Star-Telegram's Drew Davison:

"What happened to blocking out the [expletive] noise? Who gives a [expletive] what the President says? Let's get our focus on what we're trying to do. All this is doing is distracting us from what we're trying to [expletive] accomplish. And we're just prolonging it and making it worse by making a mountain out of a molehill."

Many NFL players had been angered by Trump when he indicated his wish for teams to discipline players who knelt during the national anthem.

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"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!'" Trump told supporters at a rally last September.

All or Nothing shows Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talking to his staff about how the comments motivated players to continue kneeling and that it might be better for the team to try and get ahead of things.

Garrett echoed some of the frustrations of his staff but ultimately agreed with Jones' decision.

"What do you think I want to do?" he said, per Davison. "You think I want to spend one ounce of breath on this? I don't. ... There's no easy solution. I wish there was one. That was the only objective of this conversation as we go forward because we do have to come up with a solution that works for everybody."

The show of unity ultimately may not have had the result Jones had hoped to see. He said in October the Cowboys would bench any player who was "disrespecting the flag," per the Dallas Morning News' Brandon George

ESPN's Chris Mortensen also reported Jones was surprised Cowboys players still wanted to protest after the team's demonstration earlier in the year.


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