The Dallas Cowboys were in the spotlight for the third time in this young season, playing a nationally televised game. It was their second in prime time. At this point, if you follow the NFL even just a bit, you are aware of what has happened around the league.
Since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in September of 2016, players in the National Football League have been using the National Anthem as an avenue to voice their discontent. This has caused many–including the President of the United States–to voice criticism toward the league and its players.
After President Donald Trump’s comments last week sparked a firestorm throughout the league, teams worked to figure out what they would do in response. Cowboys Nation and much of the political and sporting world, fixed their eyes on what America’s Team would do in response.
I don’t want to attempt to get into all of the ins and outs of the “should they kneel or should they stand” debate. But ahead of Monday Night’s game, everyone was wondering what the Dallas Cowboys were going to do.
If they knelt, they would upset half–or more–of their fan base.
If they stood, the other half–or more–would be disappointed that they did nothing.
A lose-lose situation or result, is one that is bad for everyone involved. Somehow, the Dallas Cowboys were able to find a way to come out winners in this situation.
They did both.
As Mike Fisher of Dallas Cowboys on Scout.com, reported before the game, the team was planning to make some sort of statement during the anthem. The team also spent the week emphasizing their great respect for the flag of the United States and the National Anthem and what they represent.
When @dallascowboys knelt pregame it was in prayer for equality and unity, not during anthem. Stood arm in arm during anthem
As they knelt, as Kristi Scales of the Dallas Cowboys radio broadcast notes, the team prayed for equality and unity. Then they stood and took part in the National Anthem, arm-in-arm.
Both the kneeling and the standing displayed a type of unity and togetherness that we are struggling to find in our current political climate.
Brice Butler admitted that it was Jerry Jones who came to the team with what they ultimately did; kneel before the anthem in prayer and then stand during the anthem. And there was Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett, right in the center of it, leading the charge.
What the Dallas Cowboys did on Monday Night Football redirected the focus back to the issue, while at the same time maintaining their respect for the National Anthem.
In a world where it’s impossible to please everyone, they came about as close as one can.
America’s Team did what they’ve done for more than 50 years, be innovative thinkers and set the trend. While many teams were caught in the middle of the lose-lose situation, the Dallas Cowboys showed the world a middle ground that we should all be able to find.
And on a night when they played an important football game–relatively speaking–the Dallas Cowboys came out winners in more ways than one.