Stephen Jones won’t comment on Roger Goodell’s apology to Colin Kaepernick

Stephen Jones won’t comment on Roger Goodell’s apology to Colin Kaepernick

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently told Emmanuel Acho, during the Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man digital series, that Goodell wishes “we had listened earlier . . . to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to.”

Cowboys COO Stephen Jones, appearing Thursday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, was asked whether he agreed with Goodell.

“I’m not going to comment on that at this point,” Stephen Jones said. “I mean, obviously, everybody has respect for what everybody has to say about any of these situations. Everybody has their own way of getting their hands around it. It’s obviously a big challenge. As I said, every organization, every office, every place looks at it a little different, including whether you’re the NFL or you’re an individual club. Everybody has their views on different things. So, [I] certainly have respect for everybody’s opinions and views, but probably as far as I would go with that.”

Jones’ unwillingness to echo the position of the Commissioner underscores the reality that the Cowboys aren’t ready to extend the same kind of unconditional support that Goodell has articulated for those who choose to protest during the anthem. Even after the events of the past couple of days, the Cowboys seem to be intent on finding a way to persuade players to stand for the anthem, regardless of whether they truly want to.

On Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is scheduled to appear on 105.3 The Fan for the second time this week. On Tuesday, Jerry Jones made it clear that he’s searching for an anthem compromise that will result in players choosing to stand. Circumstances clearly have changed since then. Come Friday, we’ll find out whether Jerry’s views also have changed.

Stephen’s comments suggest that they haven’t. If so, the gulf between the Cowboys and the league office will become more and more clear. And this question will linger: What will Goodell do about it?