As expected, the entire Dallas Cowboys team stood for the national anthem prior to their matchup with the L.A. Rams. We are a week removed from NFL players responding to President Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem. After speculation some of the Cowboys players could protest during the anthem, the team united to kneel prior to last week’s anthem while standing once the anthem played.
Prior to the game, all signs point to the Cowboys standing for today’s anthem. Dez Bryant told the Star-Telegram that last week’s decision was a direct response to Trump’s comments.
“We’re going to stand, we’re going to stand and going to put our hand over our heart and we’re going to do what we did before,” Bryant told the Star-Telegram. “You all know what that was, that was just a response to Trump and that’s all that that was.”
The Cowboys gesture was unique with Jerry Jones joining the team to kneel before the anthem. Jones had previously been outspoken against anthem protests, but viewed this event differently since it was before the flag was displayed.
NFL Network reported Trump called Jones multiple times prior to the Monday Night Football contest to implore the Cowboys to stand for the flag. Jones explained the decision on a radio appearance with 105.3 The Fan (via CBS).
“He [Donald Trump] did call” Jones told 105.3 The Fan. “He was complimentary, which doesn’t mean that in any way we acquiesced to what he was implying. What we wanted to do was make a statement and certainly not dishonor the flag. The debate is whether you’re dishonoring it or not. And to stand up there and say a group such as the NFL and our players are doing anything that doesn’t respect the flag is just not something that could be accepted.”