Report: Jones tried to deflect attention from players with anthem stance

by
Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

If Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is trying to look out for his players, he's going about it in an unorthodox way.

Jones sounded off following Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, stating that any actions "disrespectful" to the American flag would result in his players being banned from further games.

Related: Cowboys held team meeting over Jerry Jones' anthem stance

The Cowboys owner drew the ire of players and fans alike, but he was reportedly being disingenuous. A source told ESPN's Todd Archer that Jones told players and coaches in a meeting Wednesday he was trying to deflect attention from the team by playing the villain.

He also reportedly ensured that players understood the financial implications of anthem protests relating to TV ratings and sponsors.

The comments don't appear to have been well received. Ezekiel Elliott reportedly declined interviews after the meeting and Orlando Scandrick told ESPN "no comment" several times.

Jones' conservative stance has been blasted by fans and labor unions alike, with one group filing a complaint against him to the National Labor Relations Board.

It appears Jones - who donated $1 million to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and was praised by the president for his stance - and his players will continue to be at odds amid one of the most polarized political eras in U.S. history.