Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expected the team to see fans at their home games this fall, and commented on his current take on national anthem protests in his first public comments on the 2020 season on Wednesday.
77-year-old Jones declined to estimate how many fans will be allowed to personally attend games at the AT&T Stadium, which under normal conditions has a maximum capacity of more than 100,000. However, the long-time cowboy owner was confident that the team can create a safe environment for the local audience in its ultra-modern facility.
“The Dallas Cowboys plan to play football and we plan to play in front of our fans,”
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Jones noted that the cowboys would “obey all protocols” and “adapt them to the uniqueness of our stadium” to accommodate a crowd. Previously, the franchise announced that it would end season ticket packages for the 2020 season and limit capacity at the AT&T Stadium to meet local public health guidelines.
A number of NFL teams, including the New York Jets and New York Giants, are expected to play with no fans in attendance this fall. The NFL announced earlier this summer that all fans allowed to participate in games must wear face masks.
“We will have our challenges, the people who will be there will be there of their own accord, just as the players who are for the cowboys on this field are here because they have decided to be here”, added Jones. “Our fans will be in the stadium because they chose to be there.”
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Jones also addressed the possibility of protests against national anthems by players this season following national protests against the death of George Floyd.
The Cowboys have a long-standing policy that players must stand for the anthem before games. Jones didn’t say if that policy would stay in place this season, but did note that given the ongoing protests against racial injustices, he would work with the players to develop the team’s approach to the situation.
“I have nothing to prove where I stand with the flag or where the cowboys are,” said Jones. “I have nothing to prove in terms of my players and my support for the players. What I want us to show and be a part of is a word called “grace”. Not just grace in our actions, but grace in our understanding of where they come from. “
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