Sources: Dallas Cowboys likely planning unity statement before Monday's game

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Individually or collectively, members of the Dallas Cowboys are planning to make a unity statement before Monday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals in the wake of President Donald Trump's comments, but the exact details have not been worked out yet, according to multiple sources.

On Sunday, every team had some form of demonstration as a response to Trump's comments that owners should fire players who disrespect the flag by not standing during the national anthem. Hundreds of players, coaches, executives and owners stood together arm in arm, sat, knelt, raised a fist or stayed in the locker room during the national anthem.

The Cowboys and the Cardinals are the last two teams to play in Week 3 and will be watched by millions of fans.

Sources said the Cowboys leadership council, which includes more than a dozen players, met Sunday night and then the Cowboys met as a team. No general consensus was reached during those meetings as to what they should or should not do. The subject was brought up at the Sunday night team meeting with the coaches.

Sources said players from both teams talked about joining arms together during the national anthem.

As of an hour before kickoff, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones had not met with the entire team, and he was not sure if he would meet with them before kickoff regarding a potential protest.

"We want them to do what's in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "That's where the obligation is. And again I don't want to get into this area of debate. But I do want to emphasize how important it is to me that we respect the sanctity of the flag."

Coach Jason Garrett has called the anthem "sacred," but he chose not to comment Saturday after a rally in Alabama on Friday night during which Trump said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now? Out! He's fired. He's fired!'"

Jones was one of seven NFL owners to donate to Trump's inaugural committee.

Until Monday, the Cowboys were one of only two organizations to have not released a statement on Jones' behalf, along with the Carolina Panthers.

But Panthers owner Jerry Richardson finally broke his silence: "We are proud of the men we have on this football team. Our players have been active and impactful participants in making our community stronger. From the first time I stepped into an NFL locker room at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore in 1959, I have lived and seen the sport's ability to bring people of all backgrounds together. Politicizing the game is damaging and it takes the focus off the greatness of the game itself and those who play it.''

The NFL, the NFL Players Association and a number of teams and executives across the league issued statements calling Trump's comments "divisive."

Since last year when the protests took a higher profile, the Cowboys have had every player stand for the national anthem without incident. Jones has said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, "I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it."