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Cowboys’ Dontari Poe questions Jerry Jones’ silence on social justice issues

Jerry Jones has yet to issue a personal statement in support of the burgeoning movements against systemic racism and social injustice, and one Dallas Cowboys player believes the continued silence is deafening.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe, who joined the Cowboys on a free-agent deal this offseason, recently called out Jones over his apparent reluctance to speak publicly on the issues.

“Haven’t talked to Jerry at all,” Poe said, per Bleacher Report. “I hope he comes out and shows his support. … You are an owner of an NFL team—you get what I’m saying? The majority of this team are these people that are being oppressed. So even if you are not going to be in the forefront, we need to know we have your support in that type of way.”

The typically outspoken Dallas Cowboys owner’s ongoing silence amid the league-wide outcry has led to widespread criticism in recent weeks, even from players on his own team.

The social upheaval and associated countrywide protests inspired by George Floyd’s death on May 25 while in Minneapolis police custody — among other recent high-profile incidents of police misconduct — have led to player– and NFL-led initiatives in support of Black Lives Matter as well as other associated social movements and protests.

Poe also indicated he is “definitely leaning toward” kneeling during the national anthem and he hopes Jones will break his silence and support Cowboys players who choose to protest in such a manner.

“His silence definitely means a lot because in any other situation [he] will have something to say about most things,” Poe said of Jones. “I was once a proponent of doing stuff behind closed doors, and doing what I need to do not out in the forefront. … So hopefully he is doing that, but who knows what he is doing. … Personally, I would hope that he comes out and says, ‘OK, I am willing to help, I am willing to fight, and I am willing to be with y’all.'”

Jones, however, has been a polarizing presence when it comes to the broader issue of player protests. The Cowboys organization have made it abundantly clear to its players on multiple occasions in recent years that any act of protest during the anthem would not be tolerated.

It remains to be seen whether Jones will even consider altering his stance in response to the increasingly intensified pressure.