After Jerry Jones publicly said that any player on the Dallas Cowboys who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling during the National Anthem won’t play, as a Cowboys fan (and lifelong Texan) I felt the need to address this utter nonsense.
Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat: Jerry Jones is completely full of crap.
As an owner who’s signed players such as Adam “Pacman” Jones, someone with an extensive list of criminal issues, including multiple incidents where he’s been accused of assault by women and allegedly ordering another man to shoot someone, as well as Greg Hardy, a former player who was accused of strangling and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend — as well as several other players who’ve had issues with drugs and various other criminal activity — Mr. Jones certainly isn’t someone who needs to act morally superior to anyone.
Though he’s not alone.
As I said in the article I wrote about Colin Kaeperknick a few weeks ago, if a player’s value to a team outweighs the off-the-field issues they might bring along with them, most owners are going to be fine signing them. However, it’s undeniable that when it comes to NFL players with some fairly hefty issues, Jerry Jones signs more of them than most other owners.
Jerry Jones might be a lot of things, one thing he’s not is stupid. He’s a brilliant, well-calculated businessman who turned the Dallas Cowboys into the most valuable professional sports franchise in the country.
Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that if Ezekiel Elliot, Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant, Tyrone Smith, or any of the Cowboys other top stars decided they were going to kneel during the National Anthem, Jones would order head coach Jason Garrett to bench them.
Jones didn’t make this public declaration on a whim. I fully believe he spoke to the team as a whole, and probably each of his stars individually, to make sure that none of them ever planned to kneel during the National Anthem before making such a bold statement. So he almost certainly knew before he ever said these words that there was no chance that any of his top stars would ever take a knee.
Otherwise, he’d have set himself up for the possibility of not only a huge scandal — but also a massive embarrassment.
Are people who believe he’d actually do this going to sit there and tell me they actually believe he’d be willing to bench his starters, almost certainly costing his team wins, because they took a knee during the National Anthem? If you want to see fans protest a team out of anger, have an owner essentially forfeit games, if not the entire season, over something like this. Trust me, the backlash from fans over that would be much more severe than if any member of the Dallas Cowboys took a knee.
And are those same people really going to believe that Jones would make this statement without assurances from his players that they wouldn’t “call his bluff,” so to speak? As I said, Jones is a brilliant businessman. He wouldn’t make a statement like he did Sunday unless he knew there was almost no chance that it would either embarrass him or hurt his business.
This was nothing more than Jerry Jones trying to market the Dallas Cowboys as “something different” than other teams, while making him seem like a strong, decisive leader who wouldn’t dare stand for anyone “disrespecting the flag.” Tough words that might carry more weight had they not come from an owner who’s allegedly cheated on his wife with women young enough to be his granddaughters, signed multiple players with criminal records, and allowed several others who’ve been found guilty and/or accused of domestic violence to play for his team.
Even though I’m a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, and I actually think Jerry Jones, for the most part, has been a fantastic owner of the team, he’s one of the last people who has the right to claim any sort of ethical or moral high ground about much of anything.