Jerry Jones feels "very strongly" players should respect national anthem

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday he’s not a fan of the growing protests spreading throughout the NFL during the national anthem.

“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,” Jones said during his weekly radio appearance on KRLD-FM 105.3. “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.”

No Cowboys player participated in national anthem protests that happened during the first part of the 2016 season or so far in the 2017 preseason.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett called the national anthem “sacred” last week 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.

More than a dozen players formed a circle on the Cleveland Browns sideline Monday night and prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. The group, which included veterans, rookies, starters and backups, gathered in front of some water coolers and behind their teammates who stood on the sideline shortly before the Browns hosted the New York Giants.

The protest was the largest so far in a social-consciousness movement started last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became a polarizing figure for kneeling during the anthem and is currently out of the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat on the visiting bench during the anthem before the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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 Associated Press contributed to this report.

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