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Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

It's become a question every professional sports team has had to or will have to answer at one point or another: "What will you do during the national anthem?"

Most NBA players have decided to take a knee, while a percentage of players in MLB and the NHL have decided to do the same. Some players remain standing, as is their choice, though people want to know everyone's plan. Especially Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. 

Jones didn't reveal the specifics of his team's plan once their season begins on September 13, though he did reveal what the general theme of their demonstration to reporters Wednesday. 

"We're going to show grace. I'm going to show grace. And I'd like to show that kind of grace on a sensitive matter," Jones said, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. "Everybody is genuine here. I'm giving everyone the benefit of the doubt relative to any decision that I make. I have one thing: My job is to run the Dallas Cowboys. My job is to do what's right. We've asked for all of this interest and we've asked for our players to give everything they've got."

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Jones was notably anti-protest back in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem. Nobody on his team took a knee during the anthem, and he later stated how proud he was of his team for it. Jones also required his team to stand for the anthem in 2017.

"We strongly, strongly support the flag," Jones said at the time. "In every way, we support -- it's almost ridiculous to be saying it -- the people that for generations and generations have given it all up so we can get out here and show off in front of millions of people on television. We respect that so much. That's the real business."   

But as Jones said Wednesday, "That was then, this is now." We won't know until the day comes whether the Cowboys will kneel during the national anthem or put on any other demonstration. But for now, we can acknowledge how Jones has changed his tune regarding this issue. 

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Jerry Jones, Cowboys plan on playing in front of fans during 2020 season

Jerry Jones, Cowboys plan on playing in front of fans during 2020 season

After the Washington Football Team announced earlier in the day that fans would not be allowed into FedEx Field for the upcoming season, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided to go in a different direction.

“The Dallas Cowboys plan on playing all of our football games and we plan on playing them in front of our fans,” Jones stated at a news conference to open Cowboys training camp on Wednesday.

Teams around the NFL have announced various plans for having fans attend games during the 2020 season, most citing state and local regulations. Jones declined to get into specifics on the exact number of fans they will allow into AT&T Stadium on gamedays but did cite the building itself as an advantage.

“We’ll adhere to all protocols, and we will adapt them to the uniqueness of our stadium,” Jones said. “We have a real unique situation and I think we’re going to be able to really have a great experience… I’m really proud that we’ve got that stadium to work with.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Washington Football Team issued a release stating that fans would not be allowed to attend home games during the 2020 season, citing the well-being of their fanbase.

“This decision was not an easy one, but after several discussions with federal, state and local officials – along with input from some of the nation’s foremost medical experts, based right here in the nation’s capital – we are confident that it is the right one,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “We are working to find ways to make our fans’ presence felt in new and innovative ways for 2020 and can’t wait to welcome the community through the gates as soon as it’s safe.”

RELATED: MAKING FUN OF THOSE MAKING FUN OF FEDEX FIELD IN 2020

Two very different approaches to addressing what facing the league and the country as a whole heading into the 2020 season. Jones expects to deal with challenges along the way, but remains optimistic their plan can work.

“I think that our safety precautions that we’re doing won’t be unfamiliar to a lot of people when we look at the general protocol of the country, or we look at how you get together numbers of people,” Jones said.

“The people that will be there will be there at their own volition, just as the players that are on this field out here for the Cowboys are here because they have chosen to be here. Our fans will be in the stadium because they have chosen to be there.”

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How Washington could benefit from Cowboys' Dak Prescott situation

How Washington could benefit from Cowboys' Dak Prescott situation

Anybody want to talk actual football? Well, it's possible that the Cowboys reluctance to get a long-term deal done with Dak Prescott could work out in Washington's favor. 

Fans of the burgundy and gold know what it means when a successful quarterback gets on the franchise tag treadmill. Even in good times, it leads to sniping, some infighting and a general air of instability. 

Of course Prescott and the Dallas brass will say the right things about wanting a long-term deal and wanting to be a Cowboy for life. But the truth is now Prescott is playing on a one-year deal, and because of the contractual structure and specific mechanisms of the franchise tag, it seems at least likely Prescott will play on a tag again in 2021. 

Prescott is now guaranteed more than $31 million for the 2020 season. That's about 15 percent of Dallas' total salary cap, and there's nothing to guarantee he plays for the team next year. 

That's a huge chunk of cash and cap space to devote to one player, but not that uncommon for the quarterback position. The reality, however, is that a long-term deal for Prescott would have saved Dallas money over time. Eventually even the biggest QB deals end up looking like bargains before they end. 

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How does this help Washington?

Well any instability in Dallas is good for their NFC East rivals, especially if the Cowboys don't know their long-term plan at quarterback. For the 2020 season the Dallas offense looks explosive but the team had to let top cornerback Byron Jones walk in free agency because they simply didn't have the salary cap space, and that was before Prescott locked in at $31 million for this year. 

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Don't fool yourself - Jerry Jones has been smart in locking up a number of the Cowboys best offensive players with contract extensions, some even on team friendly deals. But that also leaves Dallas with hardly any wiggle room and puts significant pressure on 2020 being a Super Bowl or bust season. 

Instability at QB. Increased pressure.

Some teams thrive in those situations, but for nearly a decade with former coach Jason Garrett at the helm, the Cowboys didn't. Maybe new coach Mike McCarthy can change that, but he better do it quick. 

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