Jerry Jones doesn't want players in locker room during anthem; calls Trump's interest in issue 'problematic'

Last week, the NFL hit pause on the controversial anthem policy it unveiled in late May. 

The league and NFL Players Association released a joint statement on Friday announcing "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing." The two sides will continue to work towards a "solution to the anthem issue through mutual, good faith commitments, outside of litigation."

The policy originally allowed players to remain in the locker room during the national anthem but those who were on the sidelines would be required to stand. Teams -- not players -- would be fined for any actions deemed disrespectful. For now, all that is on hold. 

But for Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones, his stance on the matter hasn't changed: He wants his players to stand -- on the sidelines -- during the national anthem.

Given that the policy introduced in May and shelved (for now) in July allows players to stay in the locker room during the anthem if they so choose, it's unclear if Jones can require his players to stand on the sidelines. 

Last September, following league-wide player protests in response to President Trump's comments,  Jones took a knee and linked arms with his players prior to the national anthem in the Cowboys-Cardinals game but he has since made it clear that he wants his players standing for the anthem.

"If there is anything disrespecting the flag, then we will not play," Jones said last October. "Period. We're going to respect the flag and I'm going to create the perception of it. ... 

"We cannot in anyway give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," he continued. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind, that the [NFL] and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag."

Jones, who spoke  to Trump about the anthem issues last season did concede Wednesday that the president isn't helping things when he takes to Twitter to blast the league or offer his own anthem polices

Ironically, the problem had mostly gone away this offseason, right up until the moment two months ago that the NFL announced its anthem policy. With the first preseason game just a week away, more protests could be on the horizon.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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