FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - Up until Wednesday - the Dallas Cowboys official "opening of training camp'' complete with the traditional "State of the Union'' address (virtually, this time) - team owner Jerry Jones had been conspicuously quiet on the subject of the civil rights movement.
That changed in his noon-time visit with the DFW media.
"Everybody understands where I stand with the flag,'' a demonstrably more open-minded Jones said as part of a lengthy opening statement. "Everybody also understands where I stand on backing our players. ... My job is to do what's right. I want to show the world that I can deal with grace and come up with the right solution.''
Jones said he's "met with Presidents'' and will meet with players in an effort to form a policy that could mark a change from his traditional "toe-the-line'' view when it comes to the pregame national anthem. A source close to the NFL powerbroker tells 105.3 The Fan that behind the scenes Jones has met with at least one major NFL corporate sponsor, Bank of America, regarding a public course of action.
Jones has long been the NFL's most staunch proponent of tradition during the anthem - starting at a time when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players chose to protest. Two years ago, he kept his players standing for the anthem - and in a game at Arizona joined them, arm-in-arm, by kneeling before the anthem.
"I have rabbit ears,'' Jones said. "I am listening. We will do it in the way we think is as sensitive and has as much grace for everyone in mind."
Jones' daughter, Charlotte Jones-Anderson, is likely among the driving forces in the Cowboys public game plan regarding an issue that moved into the headlines after the police-custody killing of George Floyd. "Being on the right side of history'' is one logical motivation for the Jones family to at least echo some of what their own Cowboys players are actively saying and doing.
"The key word is a word called 'grace,'' Jerry said. "These are very sensitive times. I have nothing to prove regarding my support of our players. What I do want to show is a word called 'grace.' 'Grace' in our actions and in our understanding of where (all sides of the argument) are coming from.''
Jerry Jones clearly understands that as it regards social justice, this is a time for a change.
"That was then, this is now,'' Jones said of previous philosophies. "We're gonna have grace."