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The Dallas Cowboys are doubling down on their own national anthem policy.

On Wednesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones defied the NFL, and said all of his players will be required to stand for the national anthem. Players will not be permitted to stay in the locker room, according to SI.com:

“As far as the Dallas Cowboys, you know where I stand, the team knows where I stand,” Jones said.

The Cowboys owner went on to add, “Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line.”

On Thursday, Stephen Jones, Jerry’s son and Cowboys executive vice president, escalated the situation, saying players should be on the sidelines and stand “if they want to be a Dallas Cowboy,” per ESPN:

“We certainly are supportive of them when they have their personal issues or their personal things that they want to pursue,” Jones said. “And we’ll help them pursue them on Tuesdays. But when you’re wearing the Dallas Cowboy uniform and a Dallas Cowboy helmet and you’re working for the Dallas Cowboys, you check the ‘I’ and the ‘me’ at the door and you’re a part of a team.” 

War of words over HOF between Jones, T.O.

The NFL announced a new national anthem policy in May. It says all team and league personnel, including players, who are on the field for the pregame will be required to stand and “show respect” for the flag and the anthem under terms of the policy.

But it no longer is required that all players on the field for the anthem, meaning players who wish to protest can stay inside the locker room or off the field. The protests typically are meant to bring awareness to social injustices and/or police brutality.

The NFL can fine teams — not individuals — whose personnel violate the policy, but the teams have the authority to develop their own set of rules within the framework of the NFL policy.

However the league suspended its national anthem policy last week, in agreement with the NFLPA:

“The NFL and NFLPA, through recent discussions, have been working on a resolution to the anthem issue. In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA’s grievance and on the NFL’s anthem policy. No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing.” 

Several owners, including the Giants Steve Tisch and the JetsChristopher Johnson, are supporting the players. Tisch said Giants players won’t be punished for protesting during the national anthem. Johnson said he won’t fine Jets players who kneel during the anthem.

Giants co-owner John Mara took a more diplomatic approach Thursday, saying the team is holding off on installing a team policy until after the NFL and the NFL Players Association finish revisiting the controversial new policy.

As for Jones, going rogue on the national anthem policy would seem to align him with President Donald Trump, who’s been a harsh critic of the NFL’s handling of this issue.

Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do! https://t.co/yEP1jK57xi

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018

Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @rosenstein73. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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