Jerry Jones is at it again, generating offseason headlines in ways only he knows how to.
Jones doesn’t want his players to “disrespect” the national anthem, yet he committed an anthem sin by wearing a hat during its playing recently. After setting a “stand-or-be-cut” team policy for his players, legendary Dallas sports broadcaster Dale Hansen spit some North Texas fire, calling out Jones’ latest eye-rolling incident of complete hypocrisy.
This act of tone deafness will dominate Twitter headlines for a few days while meaningful football still remains a few weeks away from a pigskin-desperate public. He’ll probably drop another national anthem related gaffe in a few weeks anyhow, because no one knows how to keep “Dallas Cowboys” trending quite like Jerry.
But none of this hypocrisy should really be the focus of our attention. Is it really that surprising that Jerry Jones has put himself on the side of a social issue that aligns him with Donald Trump? No. Is his lack of awareness between the dissonance of his actions and his words at all shocking? No.
Jones, as The Sport Lobby has pointed out many times before, leads his social and political life through a very predictable lens. It is one that is a carbon copy of the current president’s. It is one that runs in MAGA circles. And, above all, it is one solely focused on the betterment and advancement of one person: Jerry Jones.
Way to go Jerry. This is what the league should do! https://t.co/yEP1jK57xi
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
So that we avoid the rise and fall of headline-generating Jerryisms for the remainder of the offseason, let’s commit a few truths to memory.
Jerry Jones funds the MAGA agenda.
Emboldened by the brashness of Donald Trump, Jones has shifted his political money to the far right. This election cycle he’s donated the maximum individual contribution to MAGA candidates in and around the Dallas area.
Pete Sessions (R) is one of them. He’s the Republican candidate in Texas’ 32nd congressional race. Ironically, he’s running against former NFL linebacker Colin Allred. Jones has donated to Sessions’ campaign individually and through the channels of Dallas Cowboys organization. In fact, the Cowboys are one of Sessions’ biggest corporate donors. Sessions, as it probably comes as no surprise, is against the NFL anthem protests.
Just South of Dallas is Texas’ 5th District race where Jones also has money in the game. In this race, money from Dallas Cowboys ticket and merchandise sales back ardent Trumper and Sessions-protege Lance Gooden (R). Max individual contribution? Check! The Cowboys organization as a whole among is top-20 contributors? You betcha!
Jones is counting on eyeballs this season, not wins.
The Dallas Cowboys were a mediocre 9-7 last season. They were supposed to be better, and the NFL banked on that fact by lining up five primetime games and nine late afternoon kickoffs for America’s Team. But with Ezekiel Elliot missing six early contests and Dak Prescott fighting through a sophomore slump, the squad stunk.
Projections don’t favor the Cowboys to be any better this season. Oddshark set the over/under at 8.5 wins for Jones’ team in 2018. The team lost pass catching greats in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten and has yet to replace them.
Talking about the national anthem, setting a team policy that falls in line with Trump, and not shutting up about it despite the league office asking him to keeps the attention squarely on the Cowboys. That way, when their on-field product is a disaster, fans might still tune in and Tweet about whatever the Cowboys players decide to do or not do during the anthem.
Now reporters are canceling interviews with Jones because he isn’t allowing them to ask about the national anthem. This is the wrong move. Keep your interviews with Jerry. Ask him about his MAGA-candidate money, his Trump pandering, or his exploitation of a protest that distracts from its original intent. And then maybe throw in a few questions on who the hell is going to catch passes this season.