Cowboys' Jerry Jones reignites protest conversation

Jerry Jones says Cowboys players who disrespect the flag will not play

"We can not in anyway give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag", he said, according to the Dallas Morning News' Brandon George. "I'm very supportive of the team, but under no circumstances will the Dallas Cowboys - I don't care what happens - under no circumstances will we as an organization, coaches, players, not support and stand and recognize and honor the flag".

Jones told Mortensen that President Donald Trump's continued focus on the protests during the anthem reminded him of a section in the NFL's operations manual regarding the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner". "'Stand for the Anthem or sit for the game!'"

On September 25, in the wake of Trump's comments and widespread protest around the NFL, Jones and the Cowboys linked arms and knelt before the anthem, but stood during the anthem.

"I don't know about that", Jones said. "We will not disrespect the flag". Following the Cowboys' gesture, Trump said he spoke to Jones - who donated to Trump's campaign - and that the team will stand for the anthem going forward.

'There is no room here if it comes between looking non-supportive of our players and of each other or creating the impression that you're disrespecting the flag, we will be non-supportive of each other, ' Jones said. And so I'm not going to have a situation with the flag where there is a debate about whether we're respecting that or not.

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Jones said a phone conversation with Trump after the display in Arizona included Trump telling him there was a rule on the books. Jones left the door open for his players to protest before or after the anthem, but made it clear that during the song, no dissonance would be accepted.

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'The league in mind should absolutely take the rules we've got on the books and make sure that we do not give the perception that we're disrespecting the flag, ' Jones said.

Cowboys owner insists his players will stand for the national anthem or they won't play.