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Jerry Jones blames anthem situation for Cowboys’ slow start vs. Cardinals

Jerry Jones believes the drama surrounding the Dallas Cowboys’ actions surrounding the national anthem ahead of last Monday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals distracted players.

The Cowboys owner participated in the team’s demonstration of solidarity ahead of last Monday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Jones and Cowboys players knelt before the anthem and then stood with locked arms during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“It was a trying time,” Jones said of the anthem gesture Friday on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and RJ show [KRLD-FM], as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. “… The bottom line is, everybody agreed that that was a deal there. We kneeled together before the anthem, not around the flag. I was a little concerned after it was over. It got in there pretty tight. You can’t rehearse this kind of stuff.

“But I was afraid the association with the kneeling close to the flag was going to be misinterpreted. I’m pretty rewarded by the fact that it has been separated out. The praying kneel, and there was prayer there, was separate from the flag obviously and everybody carried it out.”

Following the anthem situation, the Cowboys came out flat, failing to get a first down on their first two possessions while falling behind the Cardinals 7-0. Dallas recovered, ultimately running away with a 28-17 victory. Jones argues the slow start was in large part due to what occurred before the game.

“I really think it took us some time to get over that pregame focus on that issue,” Jones said.

Jones, who has made his opinion known on anthem protests on several occasions, was also asked Friday if the Cowboys have any plans for the anthem ahead of Sunday’s showdown with the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium.

“That really does need to stay within the confines of the organization, the team,” Jones said. “I won’t get into any plans. Certainly the recognition of the flag and the respect to the flag is the No. 1 thing. I’m going to say it one more time, the flag is first, respect to the flag.”