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Dallas Cowboys players and owner Jerry Jones locked arms and kneeled as a flag was carried onto the field before Monday night’s game in Arizona. They rose for the national anthem. There was speculation that Jones would not let the team kneel. (Sept. 25)
AP

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Leave it to the Dallas Cowboys to add a new twist to pregame demonstrations.

They compromised.

With flamboyant owner Jerry Jones in the mix, the Cowboys briefly knelt as a collective unit in the middle of the field before the national anthem Monday night — a nod to the peaceful protests for racial equality that Colin Kaepernick began last year and were widely reignited over the weekend in the wake of Donald Trump’s intolerant rhetoric.

After rising from the field, the Cowboys walked to their sideline and stood with arms locked during The Star-Spangled Banner — keeping with the team’s tradition to honor the American flag and military.

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The Cowboys seemingly had something for everybody before a national TV audience, playing to both sides of the fence amid anthem protests that have sparked emotional reactions from participants and fans alike.

“It was easy to see that the message about unity and equality was being pushed aside by the controversy,” Jones said at a news conference following Dallas’ 28-17 victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

He refused to directly address Trump’s public flogging of protesting NFL players and owners, which began Friday at a campaign rally in Alabama and has continued since in a series of tweets from the President. Jones was one of at least seven owners who donated to Trump’s campaign or inauguration festivities.

“I want our actions to be louder than words,” Jones said when asked about Trump. “We did it. We made our statement.”

It was Jones himself who presented the team with the idea of kneeling before the anthem, shortly before the team executed its multi-pronged demonstration.

“Initially, we had a certain plan, and that was what we were going to roll with. And then Jerry came and spoke to us before the game,” said wide receiver Brice Butler.

“It was, ‘Just trust me on this. Let’s do this together. Let’s do 15, 20…