Dontari Poe will kneel during anthem regardless of Jerry Jones’ policy
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has yet to say if he will change his policy on national anthem protests this season, but one of the team’s newest acquisitions is not waiting for Jones to announce a final decision.
Dontari Poe, who signed a two-year deal with Dallas back in March, says he will be kneeling during the national anthem in Week 1. The veteran defensive tackle told Bleacher Report last month that he is willing to become the first Cowboys player to do so. Poe said Sunday after practice that his feelings haven’t changed. He also wants to have a conversation with Jones about the topic.
“I do still plan on kneeling, but we haven’t had the conversation yet,” Poe said, via the Cowboys’ official website. “But we did have a team meeting where he kind of expressed a couple of feelings and he always told us that he has an open door for us to talk to him at any time, so I look forward to taking advantage of that and just getting in his ear and seeing how he’s feeling about it.”
Poe was critical of Jones in July for his silence on the subject.
“His silence definitely means a lot because in any other situation [he] will have something to say about most things,” he said. “I was once a proponent of doing stuff behind closed doors, and doing what I need to do not out in the forefront. … So hopefully he is doing that, but who knows what he is doing. … Personally, I would hope that he comes out and says, ‘OK, I am willing to help, I am willing to fight, and I am willing to be with y’all.'”
Those remarks came before Jones addressed the topic, though he didn’t say a whole lot. Jones said a couple weeks ago that he has not decided on an official anthem policy but indicated he is open to change.
Jones has had a strict view on national anthem protests for several years. He explicitly told players at one point that they would not be playing for the Cowboys if they kneeled during the anthem, and we saw one player change his approach to anthem protests after being traded to Dallas last year. Poe has no interest in doing the same, though it seems likely Jones will change his stance.