As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on "Monday Night Football."
Dallas players were joined by team owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly got to their feet and stood, with arms linked, during the rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Some in the crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, where the Cowboys were taking on the host Cardinals, booed at the display. Arizona players also stood and linked arms during the anthem, but they did not take a knee beforehand.
Earlier on Monday evening, Trump had taken to Twitter to claim that there was a "tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country." After players demonstrated at every NFL game Sunday, some pointed to Trump's comments at a rally Friday in Alabama, at which he urged NFL owners to get the "son of a bitch" off the field if a player declined to stand for the anthem.
Before Monday, no Dallas player had staged an anthem protest, and on Saturday, Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett indicated that he did not expect any before the game against the Cardinals. However, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported around mid-day Monday that situation had "changed as some Cowboys plan to show solidarity with their brethren across the league in a silent rebuke to Trump for what is now a three-day attack on the NFL and players."
"We have to do something," one anonymous player told the newspaper. Another added, "It's not going to be business as usual. He crossed a line. Something will be done."
Many NFL owners, including some known to be close to Trump, issued statements over the weekend objecting to the president's comments. Jones, though, was not among them, and last week he told Fox Business, "I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag. . . . So that's not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that's given up a little bit for it."
Charlotte Jones Anderson, a Cowboys executive and the daughter of the owner, told ESPN's Lisa Salters Monday that the team would take a knee "as a statement for equality and as a representation of unity." According to Salters, Anderson said that the players wanted to "separate that message from the national anthem."