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Cowboys players mum after meeting with Jerry Jones over his national anthem comments

The players wouldn’t say much to the media on Wednesday.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys met with team owner Jerry Jones on Wednesday afternoon to discuss his comments on the national anthem, after meeting as a team first earlier in the day.

Jones said on Sunday that players who “disrespect the flag” by taking a knee during the anthem would not play. He cited a conversation he had with President Donald Trump on the matter, who he says reminded him of the NFL’s game ops policy. On Wednesday, those players were questioned about his comments.

Most players declined to comment. However, some information could be gathered on how the players feel by what little was said, mostly by David Irving, Damontre Moore, and Orlando Scandrick.

Irving and Moore are the only two players on the Cowboys who have carried out any type of demonstration during the national anthem. Most recently, they both raised fists at the end of the anthem this past Sunday.

The national anthem conversation started in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick first sat, and then started kneeling for the anthem to protest police brutality and oppression against people of color in America.

Those conversations were escalated after President Donald Trump called players who kneel for the anthem “sons of bitches” that should be fired while speaking at a rally in Alabama. It resulted in a spike in demonstrations in Week 3, with players kneeling, raising fists, linking arms, or not showing up for the national anthem at all.

Jones and the Cowboys took a knee before the national anthem prior to their Monday Night Football game against the Cardinals in Week 3 before ultimately standing up with linked arms.

“I can’t say enough about the understanding and the awareness of our team, and these young men that basically said, ‘you know, that makes sense.’ There’s no need for us to talk about unity and equality and have 60 percent of this country mad at you because you’re not perceived to be honoring the flag,” Jones said afterward. “And this was a way to do both.”

This past week, Vice President Mike Pence left the Colts’ game against the 49ers after players took a knee for the national anthem. Pence sent tweets announcing that he was leaving and why he left, along with a pre-written statement. It was later that afternoon that Jones also made his comments, which echoed Trump’s from Alabama. It’s been a full-on effort by Trump to turn Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL players’ cry for equality into a campaign issue.

Tuesday, ESPN obtained a letter that Roger Goodell sent to teams saying that the league believes players should stand for the national anthem.

It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country.

NFL owners are will meet in New York next week to discuss a rule that would require players to stand for the national anthem. It’s expected that the NFL will propose a rule similar to the one the NBA has when it comes to the national anthem, which states:

2) Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.

The NFL’s situation with the current administration and the national anthem is ongoing. However this week, the focus is in Dallas after Jones became the only owner to speak out, and mirror Trump’s statements from September.