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Jerry Jones strongly reiterates stance on anthem protest issue

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Tuesday morning strongly reiterated and clarified his position on the national anthem protest issue, emphasizing again than Cowboys players who “disrespect the flag” will be disciplined.

Jones on Sunday made clear the Cowboys’ rigid organizational policy on anthem protests, saying, “If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period. Period. We’re going to respect the flag.”

ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen reported Jones’ later comments made Monday, in which the Cowboys owner cited “workplace policy” to justify benching Cowboys players should they engage in an anthem protest of any nature. Jones continued to hammer home that point during his weekly appearance on KRLD-FM (105.3 The Fan).

“I want the players to have the ammunition to be able to tell others if I don’t stand, then I don’t get to play,” Jones said, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News. “This is a workplace issue. I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding as to where I want the personnel of the Cowboys to be when we’re at the No. 1 workplace we have, which is the field and the sideline on gameday. I want to do everybody a service, as I should in leading the team, and let’s be really clear about what our expectations are.”

Jones in his comments Monday mentioned several factors that led to his decision on the team’s anthem policy. But it was readily apparent that Jones believes articulating an organizational philosophy protects the players.

Jones also cited game ops to legitimize his stance against anthem protests, crediting President Donald Trump for reminding him of NFL policy regarding such matters.

Additional details from Jones’ Tuesday morning interview, as relayed by The Dallas Morning News‘ Kate Hairopoulos.

Jones circled back to the “workplace” angle again on Tuesday.

Jones, when asked if the Cowboys’ policy amounts to placing restrictions on players, denied that is the case.

“I have a complete NFL career establishing beyond reproach I back the players,” Jones said. “One of my criticisms in the NFL is that I’m too supportive of players [even] after their active careers are over. There’s no way anyone could say I’m not supportive.”

Jones was the first NFL owner to go on record to declare what amounts to a ban on anthem protests, although he has previously conveyed his stance on several occasions. Given his original comments Sunday and his defense of them on both Monday and Tuesday, it’s clear the Cowboys owner is standing firm in his anti-protest stance.