Jerry Jones’ handling of anthem controversy irked Cowboys coaches
The NFL over the past two seasons has found itself embroiled in controversy over how some players have engaged in protests of some nature during the national anthem before games. The debate turned into a cultural flashpoint that even reached the White House.
The situation came to a head in that regard during a speech President Donald Trump gave at a rally when he implored NFL owners to fire any player who “disrespects our flag,” saying, “Get that son of a b—- off the field.”
Amid Trump’s all-out war with the NFL and inflammatory comments — not to mention becoming a polarizing figure throughout the sports world — the Dallas Cowboys participated in a “demonstration of unity” during Week 3 game when owner Jerry Jones locked arms and kneeledwith players during the anthem.
Owner Jerry Jones joins kneeling Cowboys prior to anthem, stand arm-in-arm as it's playedhttps://t.co/50JqiIfYme pic.twitter.com/TCIgbY06on
— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) September 26, 2017
The entire situation is chronicled in the Amazon Prime documentary series “All or Nothing,” which covered the Cowboys’ 2017 season. A clip posted to YouTube from the series shows Jones addressing how the Cowboys would handle the anthem ahead of that September game.
However, what was not covered in the documentary was how Jones’ decision spawned fierce debate within the Cowboys’ coaching ranks. A report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Drew Davison highlights how Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack vehemently disagreed with Jones’ approach.
“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,” Pollack said. “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.”
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett not surprisingly found himself in the middle of the conflict.
“What do you think I want to do?” Garrett said. “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.”