Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones went a step further Thursday in discussing the team's position on the national anthem, saying in a radio interview that players should stand "if they want to be a Dallas Cowboy."
Jones told KTCK 96.7 FM that the team supports players' viewpoints but that those issues should be put aside while they are representing the Cowboys.
"We certainly are supportive of them when they have their personal issues or their personal things that they want to pursue," Jones said. "And we'll help them pursue them on Tuesdays. But when you're wearing the Dallas Cowboy uniform and a Dallas Cowboy helmet and you're working for the Dallas Cowboys, you check the 'I' and the 'me' at the door, and you're a part of a team."
Jones added that players would face punishment if they chose to stay in the locker room for the anthem. That had been allowed as an option under the NFL's new anthem policy that has since been put on hold pending further discussion between the league and the players' union.
Stephen Jones' comments were made a day after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also said that he expects players to have their "toe on the line," being on the field and standing during the anthem.
President Donald Trump, who has regularly pushed for the NFL to require players to stand during the anthem, congratulated Jerry Jones for his comments in a tweet Friday morning.
Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do! https://t.co/yEP1jK57xi— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
Jerry Jones said Wednesday that he wished the president did not bring up the anthem issue as often as he does.
At the spring owners meetings, the NFL announced a new policy that would require players on the sideline to stand for the anthem. Players who do not want to stand could remain in the locker room. In the past, the policy stated that players should stand, but it was not required.
Last week, the league and the NFL Players Association issued a joint statement that said "no new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks" while both sides continue to hold discussions to figure out how to move forward.
Representatives from the NFL and NFLPA have a meeting scheduled in New York on Friday as part of their ongoing discussions about player protests, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano.
ESPN's Todd Archer contributed to this report.