The Cowboys continued to stand for the national anthem, and defensive lineman David Irving continued to raise a fist at the conclusion. In other words, it was business as usual for Dallas on Sunday.
This marks the team’s first game since Jerry Jones issued his public edict that Cowboys players would stand for the national anthem. Irving apparently trolled reporters Friday when he said he “made a call” but was vague about what he would do during the national anthem. He did add that he would not “disrespect the flag,” an act for which the Cowboys owner has threatened to bench players.
Irving later released an Instagram photo showing him in an earlier game with his fist –rather than a palm — over his heart, and his agent, Louis Bing, released a statement Saturday saying, “David never said he was going to ‘protest the anthem’ or ‘challenge Jerry’ like the articles that are being circulated are claiming. This is a situation where certain members of the media are twisting his words to make a story about nothing.”
Irving stood with his teammates with his fist over his heart, via multiple tweets, and then briefly raised it at the conclusion.
The Cowboys remain one of only six teams not to have a player protest during the national anthem the past two years.
“I’m just so proud of our team,” Jones said in his pregame press conference with Kristi Scales of the Cowboys Radio Network. “I’m so proud of them, and I certainly don’t want that issue in anyone’s mind as we’re getting ready to walk out here and compete against the 49ers. I know that we’ve done nothing but have tunnel vision, done nothing but think about the ball game. That’s what’s so important. I know that our fans when they come, frankly, these fans here in the Bay Area, they want to get away and use this game as a respite, and that’s what we all want them to do.
“I’m so proud of our players. They get it.”
It also was business as usual for the 49ers during the anthem, too, as Eric Reid and six other players took a knee during national anthem, via Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.