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Jason Garrett: Jerry Jones’ meeting with Cowboys inspired by ‘love’

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said the meeting Jerry Jones had with the team Wednesday over the swirling national anthem controversy was inspired by “great love, admiration and respect for the players.”

Jones in the meeting informed players they must stand for the anthem. This comes on the heels of the Cowboys owner on Sunday saying players would be benched should they protest in any manner. Jones spent the beginning of the week defending and clarifying his original comments. And on Thursday it was Garrett’s turn to try to close the Pandora’s Box opened by Jones’ comments.

“Well, like we’ve had in the past, the meetings were very productive,” Garrett said Thursday morning of the meeting that followed Wednesday’s practice, via The Dallas Morning News. “I don’t want to share the contents of the meetings right here but Mr. Jones has always had great love, admiration and respect for the players. He just felt like it was important for him to come in at the end of one of our team meetings and share his position on the anthem with our team very directly.

“I think that demonstrates the respect that he has for our guys, and the love and admiration he has for our guys. I think he also wanted to share different ways to make an impact on some of the issues that the players have concerns about.

“So it was a productive meeting. I know there were some conversations he had individually with the players afterwards that were also productive.”

Garrett was asked if Jones’ anthem stance has the potential to be a divisive force in the locker room.

“Again guys, I think our team has done a really good job in regards to this issue,” Garrett said. “Yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) meeting was about Jerry stating his position and I think it was well received.

“I think they understand that he has great respect for them, great love and admiration for them. Yesterday’s meeting was a really productive one for all of us. I do believe we’re united on this.”

Despite Garrett’s insistence that the meeting was productive and the team is “united” on the anthem issue, some reports indicate otherwise. With the Cowboys stumbling to a 2-3 record, the case can be made the last thing the team needed was this kind of distraction.