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Jerry Jones: Cowboys aspire to ‘move the ball forward’ on social justice matters

Jerry Jones obviously has long expressed his vehement opposition to players participating in acts of peaceful pregame protests like kneeling during the national anthem.

However, recent events related to the widespread unrest and uproar over systemic racism, police misconduct and social injustice seemingly has led the Dallas Cowboys owner to change with the times.

Appearing Friday on 105.3 The Fan, Jones seemed at least receptive to reconsidering where he stands on players kneeling.

“We all do understand where I stand relative to the national anthem and the flag. On the other hand, I really do recognize our times we’re in,” Jones said. “I recognize the ability of the Cowboys to use the visibility and interest we have to support the players. As I’ve said earlier, we’ll come down in a way that gives us a chance to move the ball forward. Move the ball positively forward.”

Jones’ comments Friday stand in stark contrast to how the Cowboys organization has made it abundantly clear to its players on multiple occasions in recent years that any act of protest during the national anthem would not be tolerated. That said, Jones began moving in the direction of acceptance for weeks now.

First, it merits noting that Jones did participate in a “demonstration of unity” during a Week 3 game in 2017 when he locked arms and kneeled with players before the anthem. He then stood when the anthem was played, however.

Addressing his evolving view of anthem protests and the like, Jones last month explained his previously no-nonsense stance on such acts as “that was then, two years ago.” 

Further, Jones last last month proposed offering a potential compromise with the team’s players in order to avoid a standoff over the issue.

Jones was subjected to intense criticism over the summer over his protracted silence amid the outcry and calls for social justice in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police, as well as the recent shooting of Jacob Blake by officers in Kenosha, Wisc.

Cowboys superstar Dak Prescott said earlier this week that engaging in protests during the anthem before games ought to be a personal decision by each individual player. It appears that Jones is receptive to that notion.