Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett called the national anthem “sacred” when asked about players on other NFL teams who’ve recently opted not to stand during its playing.
“We're focused on our football team and what we need to do each and every day. There's no question in my mind the national anthem is sacred. The flag is sacred and our team has demonstrated that,” Garrett said on Tuesday.
No Cowboys player participated in national anthem protests that happened during the first part of the 2016 season.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat on the visiting bench during the anthem before the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, a decision he made before weekend protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bennett has said that the aim of his protest is to make people uncomfortable. In the process, he hopes to spur greater communication, understanding and involvement across racial, gender and socio-economic lines.
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler during the anthem Saturday night on the field at University of Phoenix Stadium. Los Angeles Rams defensive end Robert Quinn raised a first before his team's game vs the Cowboys at the Coliseum.
The fact that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a team to play for after his kneel-down protests last season is also still a hot topic.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that while the playing of the anthem is a special moment to him, "we also have to understand the other side."
Goodell made the comments at University of Phoenix Stadium during a 45-minute question-and-answer period with Arizona Cardinals club seat holders. One season ticket-holder, Bruce Olson, asked the commissioner whether players were going to continue to protest during the anthem and if anything could be done about it.
Goodell replied that "it's one of those things where I think we have to understand that there are people that have different viewpoints."
He said that "people do have rights and we want to respect those."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.