Texas Misstep: Jerry Jones Crosses Line

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Sep 25, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you want to admit this or not, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones presides as the de facto commissioner of the NFL. No other owner carries as much gravitas or sway within those meeting rooms. With that said, Jones’ postgame comments on Sunday struck a nerve with fans, players and free speech proponents everywhere. In a series of baffling statements, Jones declared that any member of the Dallas Cowboys that kneeled or “disrespected the flag” during the  anthem would be benched. I am surprised that Jones did not hyperextending his shoulder on that overreach. If someone kneels, Jones will compel Jason Garrett to sit them. That sentence strikes most as startling in nature.

Why?

Apropos of this situation is the joke about why a dog can lick his leg. Because he can. Similarly, that principle applies to Jones. Who will settle him down? The commissioner? Not likely. By issuing this declaration, Jones effectively cut Roger Goodell off at the knees. This show of force undermines the “unity” speech given during the time of protest.  Jerry Jones appears to not wish for anything but his own terms. The conspiracy machine kicked into high gear with the thought of other owners quietly co-signing Jerry’s statement. After the President’s divisive statements regarding Colin Kaepernick, the players took control of this situation and began to dictate. Never one to relinquish anything, Jones regained the power with words and a threat.

False Patriotism

As mentioned by countless others, the protest is not an affront to the flag or the military. No player who spoke out hates the United States. If they did, they would not enjoy a career making millions to participate in a sport. In a false thought used to galvanize the masses, the military somehow was roped into this situation. Any adult with an iota of common sense maintains a healthy respect for American soldiers. You can support the serviceperson without supporting the war. People try to say different. Jones’ decree emboldened the president to claim victory. Victory over…the right for players to peacefully and quietly protest without serving as a distraction to the national anthem?

Collusion

Normally, this words floats through the air as the reason why Colin Kaepernick does not have an NFL job. Yet, this time Jerry Jones worked in concert with the President of the Unites States of America. By his own admission, Jones admitted President Trump is the one who spurred him on to make this decision. While many of the players may not have voted the same way as Jerry Jones, none should be happy. Whether you are liberal or conservative, that point remains irrelevant. Basically, the President of the United States and the owner of the Dallas Cowboys set a precedent for NFL players. If you agree or not with this stance, the trampling upon personal freedom and expression should shock, anger and irk you. With Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands still bailing water, our national focus is a protest?

 

Rationale and Hypocrisy

Jones thought the protest would die after the pump fake of a kneel down during the Cowboys’ Monday night game in Arizona two weeks ago. Arm and arm, Jones and his players knelt before the anthem. Unfortunately for Jones, the resolve of the players grew and the protest evolved into a focal point of NFL Sundays.  To deflect criticism Jones said that he always had his players’ backs on issues that he’s been criticized for. Let’s take a gander at one of his players.

DE Greg Hardy: After the Carolina Panthers released Hardy for extreme domestic violence, and despite a lengthy suspension, The Cowboys inked Hardy to a deal. While in Dallas, Hardy yelled at coaches, blew up at reporters and conducted himself like the embarrassment he is. Where was Jerry Jones’ outrage? Instead Jones gave the most mind boggling quote ever”

“The leadership aspect comes in different ways. First of all, to really be a leader on a football team, talking the talk without walking the walk doesn’t happen,” Jones said. “Real leaders are really outstanding football players. So they get it done and through that they earn a great deal of respect by their teammates.”

Not to be overdramatic, Greg Hardy severely beat a woman in North Carolina. Not sure what leadership that takes.

This is the chart, denoting the suspensions given to Cowboys players since 2014.

 

 

Impact

In essence, Jerry Jones silenced his players are singlehandedly cost them any respect from fellow players if they do not protest. Jones placed his team in an impossible spot. The voices of Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott and Dez Bryant will forever have the overtone of Jerry Jones’ words. For the past year, writers, athletes and fans were told to stick to sports and leave social politics out. How can they when the President and owner of the most visible NFL franchise continuously inject it into the conversation?


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