Whether or not a knee is "disrespecting the flag", Jones will not entertain the thought of alienating any fans.
"The game ops manual has an ambiguity being used for those who don't want to enforce it - the word "should" stand for anthem is their ambiguity - but how can it be ambiguous when it cites the potential penalties of fines, suspension or loss of draft picks for failing to adhere?" Period", Jones said. "We're going to respect the flag and I'm going to create the perception of it.
And now, Jones has said that if his players opt not to stand during the national anthem, they will not play.
"We've made our expression that we're together".
Trump's tweet came hours after ESPN host Jemele Hill, who last month referred to him as a "white supremacist", was suspended for her own comments about the Cowboys, in which she suggested a boycott of their advertisers over Jones's stance. "As far as whether or not basically I will institute, or basically do what I said, I just would say that the implication that we're not respecting the flag is just not going to be accepted".
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Other than that, Dallas players have stood on the sideline, many with hands over their hearts, during the anthem ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling last season in protest of police brutality in the US.
Jones pushed back when asked if his comments were towing the line for President Donald Trump, who ignited the protests two weeks ago when he attacked National Football League players who had kneeled during the anthem.
It's after President Trump called on players to be sacked if they refused to stand for the national anthem. They milked the clock late in the fourth quarter and everyone knew why: They wanted to score and not give Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers any time to win the game.
That came in response to Jones's comments to Chris Mortensen that the owner "thought the controversy would "go away" after the September 25 "Monday Night Football" game in which Jones rather theatrically took a knee along with his players before the anthem, keeping an eye on the TV cameras, and then all rose to stand with arms linked for the song. The league has said it doesn't plan to punish players over anthem protests.
Conduct during the national anthem is not specifically a part of the NFL rule book or players contracts.