Cowboys owner Jerry Jones annually holds a state of the franchise press conference to open training camp. Not this year.
That’s just one of many things COVID-19 has affected.
Jones has not talked to the media since the draft in late April, leaving new coach Mike McCarthy to answer questions about the team’s national anthem stance.
The Cowboys are one of the few teams that have never had a player protest during the anthem. Defensive linemen Robert Quinn and Michael Bennett, who have protested in the past with other teams, stood for the anthem in 2019 during their one season in Dallas.
Jones established a team policy that players will stand “with toes on the line,” having made clear players who don’t follow the edict face repercussions. But things have changed, and times have changed as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicated earlier this offseason.
So where do the Cowboys stand now?
”These are conversations that we’ll continue to have,” McCarthy said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It is Aug. 7 and in fairness to us this is the first time we have been in the building together. All those things will be talked about. My particular stance is it’s a time to step back and listen and make sure we are in the right place.”
Cowboys defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who has questioned why Jones has remained silent since the death of George Floyd on May 25, and nose tackle Dontari Poe indicated they may kneel for the anthem this season.
Jones isn’t talking. Is he listening?
”I know for me personally, it’s made me take a hard look at the blind spots that I may have in my life from my experiences,” McCarthy said. “One thing I do know, and we continue to echo to everybody involved in football operations, is to take a step back. I think we all need to listen more. How can we really be part of the progress? I think the organization’s statement of protest through progress is right on the money. So that’s really where our focus will be. We’ll definitely support players any way we can.”