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FRISCO, Texas — Local 100 of the United Labor Unions filed a complaint against the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, alleging owner and general manager Jerry Jones has violated the National Labor Relations Act by threatening players if they choose not to stand for the national anthem.

Jones said earlier this week if a player “disrespects the flag” and national anthem by not standing, then the player will not play.

According to the filing to the National Labor Relations board, “the employer, evidenced by repeated public statements, is attempting to threaten, coerce and intimidate all Dallas Cowboys players on the roster in order to prevent them from exercising concerted activity protected under the act by saying that he will fire any players involved in such concerted activity.”
Jones has said players will not play, not that they would be fired, if they do not stand for the anthem, but Wade Rathke, Local 100s chief organizer, said that is a “distinction without difference when it comes to the law.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said players will not play if they "disrespect the flag" by not standing during the national anthem.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said players will not play if they “disrespect the flag” by not standing during the national anthem.

The Cowboys will not comment on the filing, according to a spokesman. The NFL has declined to comment.

“You can’t discipline somebody for something that is a right they have under the law, whether that discipline be termination or benching or giving a slap on the wrist or writing up in their files they’ve been a bad boy,” Rathke said. “That’s just not what they can do when it comes to concerned activities. I know in the modern age people think workers shouldn’t have rights, but they still do. This union was offended by those comments. Mr. Jones just got carried away being a rich guy and there’s no laws he has to respect.”

According to Rathke, the NLRB will assign a field agent to investigate the claim and if there is a determination that there is a violation of the act it will go to trial if no settlement is reached.
“I’m hoping this doesn’t go to hell and back on the labor board,” Rathke said. “I think Mr. Jones should just say, ‘I stepped out of line.’ Fine. … We’re not looking for blood.”

According to the NFL’s game manual, players are not required to stand for the anthem; however, it is written that they “should” stand at attention.
On Tuesday, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL teams expressing a belief that “everyone should stand for the national anthem” and that the dispute surrounding the issue is “threatening to erode the unifying power of our game.” He spoke of a plan that will be reviewed with the teams at next week’s league meeting, which would “include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.”

President Donald Trump has called on NFL owners since last month to fire players who do not stand for the anthem, saying their protest “disrespects the flag” and the country.

Before their Sept. 25 game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys players, coaches and staff, including Jones, stood locked arm in arm and took a knee before the anthem. During the anthem, they stood arm in arm. In the past two games, the Cowboys have stood on the sideline as they had before President Trump’s initial comments.

Defensive linemen Damontre Moore and David Irving raised their fists at the end of the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. They told Cowboys coach Jason Garrett that they did so “well after” the anthem, and the coach said they would not be disciplined.
Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, Jones left open the opportunity for a player to have a form of silent protest before the anthem — similar to the way the Cowboys handled the situation before the anthem in Arizona as a team — or after the anthem.
“If we’re going to have any other recognition the place to have it is before the anthem in my view and be real clear that it’s not associated with the anthem,” Jones said. “I think it’s real important for our players that they have that to reply to anybody whether they’re asking them to express themselves or not that the way we do it where I work, where I earn my livelihood is that we stand for the flag.”

When asked if he would really sit a player like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant, Jones initially deferred.

“The policy and my actions are going to be that if you’re not honoring, standing for the flag in a way that a lot of our fans feel that you should, if that’s not the case, then you won’t play,” Jones said. “That’s nothing new as far as that being my wish on the way that I want the Cowboys to have. As far as whether or not I will basically institute or basically do what I said, I just would say that the implication that we’re not respecting the flag … is just not going to be accepted and so I would just ask anybody to look at my record relative to what I say I’m going to do and you go from there.”

Cowboys ‘very fortunate’ for well-attended OTAs

With a noticeable amount of high-profile players opting out of voluntary workouts this spring, the Dallas Cowboys are lauding their near perfect attendance.

According to ESPN.com, “during the two sessions open to the media so far, every player has been accounted for.” Coach Jason Garrett said that has extended to the workouts without media present.

“We’ve been very fortunate — we have near 100 percent attendance of everything we do in the offseason program and we have a lot of guys who live here and a lot of guys who don’t live here, get here,” Garrett said. “They’re the right kind of guys. We have guys who care about football, care about this football team and care about getting better — and that’s a manifestation of that.”

This is a volatile, and ultimately fruitless debate to dip ones toes in this time of year. The fact remains that voluntary workouts are voluntary, and that some players prefer to keep this time to themselves and spend it with private trainers.

Of course, should the Cowboys succeed, stories like this one from ESPN will take on a higher amount of significance:

Last Tuesday, (Dez) Bryant walked by the film room and saw (Dak) Prescott in there alone. He joined his quarterback and soon (Ezekiel) Elliott walked in too. They were able to study what happened in that practice, see some mistakes and attempt to improve the next day.

If the Giants falter — the moment Odell Beckham and Eli Manning miscommunicate on a route — Beckham’s absence from offseason training activities will come up right or wrong. So far, Beckham missing practices and workouts have not seemed to matter much.

Team building in the NFL is a hazy concept — even the coaches believed to be the best at it like Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll have their struggles. There is no perfect formula. But in any situation, it’s paramount not to put too much stock in one element of the offseason that is directed more toward younger players grasping the playbook before the start of training camp.

Tony Romo says he backs Dak Prescott, but still wants to play

FRISCO, Texas — For nearly five minutes, an emotional Tony Romo addressed his past, present and future as Dallas Cowboys quarterback almost three months after suffering a compression fracture in his back that has kept him out of the first nine games of the regular season.

Romo read a prepared statement that lasted just under five minutes, and did not take any questions.

Romo accepted that he will be Dak Prescott’s backup when he returns this week against the Baltimore Ravens.

“He’s earned the right to be our quarterback,” Romo said. “As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right. He’s guided our team to an 8-1 record and that’s hard to do. If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you’ve probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning. That hasn’t left me. In fact it may burn more now than ever.”

Romo entered 2016 feeling as good about his game as he has ever felt. He was able to go through an entire offseason program and training camp without any issues from a back that required two surgeries in 2013. The twice-broken left collarbone that forced him to miss 12 games last year was surgically repaired in the offseason.

Then on the third play of the Aug. 25 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, Romo suffered a compression fracture of his L1 vertebra when hit from behind by defensive end Cliff Avril. He attempted to re-enter the game but was held out. After the contest he expressed confidence that his back was able to withstand such a hit. On the next day he was diagnosed with the fracture.

“To say the first half of the season has been emotional would be a huge understatement,” Romo said. “Getting hurt when you feel like you have the best team you’ve ever had was a soul-crushing moment for me. Then to learn it’s not three of our weeks but 10 is another blow. And through it all you have a tremendous amount of guilt on having let your teammates, fans and organization down. After all they were depending on you to bring them a championship. That’s what quarterbacks are supposed to do. That’s how we’re judged. I love that. I still do.”

In his 14th year and 36 years old, Romo knows he does not have many chances left to compete for a championship.

He said he has felt like an “outsider,” as the Cowboys have put together the best record in the NFL while he rehabbed. Last week marked the first time he went through three straight full practices since late in the 2014 season. After Sunday’s win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the Cowboys would go with Prescott’s hot hand.

“It’s a dark place, probably the darkest it’s ever been,” Romo said. “You’re sad and down and out and you ask yourself, ‘Why did this have to happen?’ It’s in this moment you find out who you really are and what you’re really about.”

Romo also knows the business of the NFL. In 2006, he did what Prescott is doing. Bill Parcells went to him over Drew Bledsoe after six games and he spurred the Cowboys on to the playoffs. He has been the Cowboys’ starting quarterback ever since, becoming the franchise leader in touchdown passes and yards while compiling a 78-49 record.

“It’s not always easy to watch,” Romo said. “I think anybody who’s been in this position understands that. But what is clear is that I was that kid once, stepping in, having to prove yourself. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. It really is an incredible time in your life. And if I remember one thing from back then, it’s the people that helped me along when I was young.

“And if I can be that to Dak, you know, I’ve tried to be and I will be going forward. We all know something magical is happening to our team. I’m not going to allow this situation to negatively affect Dak or this football team by becoming a constant distraction. I think Dak knows that I have his back. And I think I know that he has mine. Ultimately, it’s about the team. It’s what we’ve preached our entire lives.”

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IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have many needs for 2016, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones reiterated finding a quarterback is at the top of the list.

Backups Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore have combined to go 1-10 this season after starter Tony Romo(Tony Romo Jersey) suffered a broken left collarbone twice this season. Jones has acknowledged the front office handled the backup spot entering the season poorly.

“We’re going to try to all the ways – all ways – to come up with a way to get Tony a backup, while at the same time looking toward the future,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “Some people would say that’s dreaming. Everybody wants that, but we have a high draft pick, obviously. We’re earned it, and we’ve got it. If we evaluate and get an opportunity to get a couple of players there, we got to look at it hard.”

Jones said he had a conversation with Romo about the future of the position on Saturday night in Buffalo. He has said he believes Romo, who turns 36 in April, has a 3-5 year window left at playing at a high level.

The Cowboys have not drafted a quarterback since 2009 (Stephen McGee, fourth round) and have not selected a quarterback in the first round since Troy Aikman in 1989. They took Steve Walsh with a first-round pick in the 1989 compensatory draft as well.

It’s possible the Cowboys could take a quarterback early in the draft as well as look in free agency for a veteran backup.

“It’s obviously going to be a high priority for us, the backup situation, as it relates to not only being able to come in and do better than we did this year, but whatever way, whatever we do, do better, but we’re looking to our future,” Jones said. “That’s as big a thing for me.”

Joseph Randle Youth Jersey

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have released running back Joseph Randle(Joseph Randle Jersey).Randle had been excused from the team since last week to deal with what the club called a “personal issue.” According to sources, he is also facing a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for an incident in February in Wichita, Kansas.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones did not want to say whether the decision was related to impending NFL discipline.

“We don’t want to go there as an organization as far as our relationship with Randle,” Jones said. “We just think it’s time for us to not have him on the roster. That’s the decision we made today, and we stand ready to help him work through any of his other issues.”

Randle suffered an oblique strain in his last game, which was Oct. 25 against the New York Giants, after just two carries. He lost his starting job to Darren McFadden.

After Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Jones said he was concerned for Randle’s well-being.

“I’m always concerned as to any issues regarding the [mental] health of a player,” Jones said. “It’s a lot more serious than the football [injury].”

According to sources, Randle made a call to police last week because of concern about the whereabouts of his girlfriend. However, no wrongdoing was found.

In September, Randle met with NFL officials after he was cleared legally regarding a domestic violence call in February involving the mother of his son. Per league policy, a player can still be disciplined even if there is no legal penalty.

Failing production, off-field incidents and pending NFL discipline were all factors in the Cowboys’ decision to release Randle; a source told ESPN’s Ed Werder that “all things were included in this decision.”

The Cowboys now have McFadden, Christine Michael and Rod Smith at tailback.

It has been a quick fall for Randle, who was viewed last spring as the replacement for DeMarco Murray, who ran for an NFL-best 1,845 yards last season and left via free agency for the Philadelphia Eagles.

In five games — all starts — Randle ran for 315 yards and a team-high four touchdowns on 76 carries, but he angered coaches at times. In Dallas’ Oct. 5 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, he reached the ball over the goal line and needed a replay reversal for a touchdown to be called, but the coaches reacted harshly because it was the second straight game he did it despite their orders not to.

When asked how the move made the Cowboys better, Jones said, “Well, we’ve been pleased with how McFadden has basically stepped up his competitiveness. His resolve has given us a foundation and a leadership at the running back position. It’s critical, so that’s certainly a consideration and then we have a couple of young backs in Christine Michael and Smith that we think can really contribute to the team as well. We’re in good shape at running back or we wouldn’t have made this decision.”