Jerry Jones: Cowboys players must stand for anthem

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says his team has a policy requiring Dallas players to stand on the field for the national anthem regardless of any rules the NFL might adopt on the matter.

"I do think this recent effort by the league office and the players association to have discussions ... is a worthy effort," Jones said during a news conference Wednesday at the team's training camp site in Oxnard, California. "And that's what you're seeing happen right now. But in general, I will speak for one, and everybody knows where we stand, and we stand as a team."

Jones added that the Cowboys do not support players who chose to remain in the locker room during the anthem -- something that would be allowed under the league-wide policy passed by team owners in May.

"Our policy is that you stand at the anthem, toe on the line," said Jones when asked if he would support a player staying in the locker room during the anthem.

The NFL had no comment on Jones' remarks.

Jones' comments come less than a week after the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to freeze implementation of the anthem policy team owners approved at the Spring League Meeting. The standstill agreement is expected to be in place for several weeks as discussions between the league and union continue.

NFL Network's Jim Trotter reported, per sources informed, that the NFL and NFLPA are tentatively scheduled to meet face-to-face Friday to discuss an anthem policy. The meeting is expected to include several active players as well, Trotter added.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, vice president of the NFLPA executive committee, told NFL Network's Steve Wyche that preliminary conversations between his group and NFL officials took place Tuesday. Sherman described the league as being "open and amicable" to dialogue regarding the anthem policy, adding "they should be commended for being open to players."

The agreement passed by team owners requires players and team personnel on the field to be "respectful" during the playing of the anthem. It allows players to remain in the locker room if they don't want to stand.

If activated again, the NFL policy gives individual clubs the power to set their own policies to ensure the anthem is being respected during any on-field action. If a player chooses to protest on the sideline the NFL will fine the team. Players could also be fined by their teams, per the policy.

However, Jones said the Cowboys have "always had" a written policy requiring players to stand during the national anthem and that the league's policy -- whatever it might be -- wouldn't necessarily impact the Cowboys.

"It's our position that we've always had a written policy in place," Jones said. "As far as, really, the vote we had as the league in the spring, that doesn't impact our team. Our team, we all know where we stand."

Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest social inequality against minorities by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before a preseason game in 2016 spurred other players to protest. President Donald Trump has sharply criticized the actions of protesting players and called on team owners in September to "fire" them.

"[Trump's] interest in what we're doing is problematic, from my chair, and I would say, in general, from the owners' chair," Jones said. "It's unprecedented if you really think about it. ... We feel strongly with how we deal with it and we'll do so accordingly. But, yes, I, like everybody, would like for it to go away."

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