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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.”

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, which included 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.”

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FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has not had any discussions with Jerry Jones regarding the owner and general manager’s comments Sunday that players “disrespecting the flag” would not play.

Two players, defensive ends Damontre Moore and David Irving, raised their fists at the end of the national anthem at Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Garrett said he had not heard from any players regarding Jones’ comments, but he spoke with Moore and Irving.

“They did that well after the anthem was completed and it was a private thing they did for themselves,” Garrett said.

Garrett sidestepped a question from a reporter who asked him whether he would have any issues if players express themselves after the anthem.

“Again, we want to approach the anthem in a very respectful way. Want to approach the flag in a very respectful way. And my understanding of what both of those guys did based on the conversations I had with them was that occurred after the anthem. And they wanted to keep it private,” he said.

He said, however, that neither player would be disciplined.

After Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, Jones was asked about Vice President Mike Pence leaving the Indianapolis Colts’ game after more than 20 members of the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem. Jones said the NFL cannot, “in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag,” and issued a warning to his players if they did use a form of silent protest.

“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play,” Jones said. “Understand? We will not … if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period.”

Asked whether the Cowboys’ owner’s mandate puts him in an uncomfortable position, Garrett said: “You can ask Mr. Jones those questions.”

Cowboys chief operating officer and director of player personnel Stephen Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Monday that he hasn’t talked to his father about his comments but maintains that his father wasn’t making an order to his players.

“I know this. He’s been very pleased. I think we’ve had great communication with our players in terms of the way to do things in terms of how we can certainly have respect and be sensitive to the things that they’re faced with as we did in Arizona,” he said. “But at the same time, I think they understand and trust Jerry, trust our organization that we also need to pay the proper respect to the flag.

“I think they’ve had a great understanding. Jerry’s never told them to do anything, he’s always asked them to. I know we’ve been very pleased with the way we’ve handled it … our players as a team, as an organization, the way we’ve handled obviously a very difficult situation.”

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement Monday that in meetings last week with team owners, commissioner Roger Goodell and Giants owner John Mara, the chairman of the NFL management council, assured union leaders that they would “respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution.” Smith also said that “no player is disrespecting our country or our flag” by protesting during the national anthem.

Before the Cowboys’ Sept. 25 meeting at the Arizona Cardinals, Jones, his sons Stephen and Jerry Jr., and daughter, Charlotte Anderson, took a knee and locked arms with players, coaches and other staff on the field before the national anthem as a compromise to the events that surfaced after President Donald Trump said players should be fired if they protested during the anthem. During the anthem, the players stood locked arm in arm.

In the two games since, the Cowboys have stood during the national anthem.

Leading up to the Arizona game, there were a number of meetings between players, players and coaches and the entire organization. It wasn’t until roughly 20 minutes before kickoff that Jones mentioned the pre-anthem kneel that the players accepted.

Garrett said he was not sure whether he would meet with the players about the subject again but said the “conversations I’ve had with our team have been very positive.”

“Again, I believe our team believes in the approach that we take in regards to the anthem and showing respect for the flag and for the national anthem prior to the game,” Garrett said.

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FRISCO, Texas — With defensive end Damontre Moore returning from a two-game suspension this week, the Dallas Cowboys waived linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who was acquired in a trade from the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 3.

Moore has been able to work out at the Cowboys’ practice facility because he was suspended under the substance-abuse policy, but he has not been able to take part in meetings or practices. He had two sacks in the preseason. The Cowboys had a roster exemption through Wednesday for Moore, who could help the pass rush immediately, but opted to make the move today.

Elliott dressed for the season opener against the New York Giants but was inactive last week against the Denver Broncos.

Per the terms of the trade with Green Bay, the Cowboys will now keep their seventh-round pick in 2018 unless they re-sign Elliott in the future and he is on the 46-man roster for at least two more games.

With the trade presently wiped out, the Cowboys will have all but their fifth-round pick in next spring’s draft. They gave up that pick to the New York Jets to take safety Xavier Woods in the sixth round. The Cowboys could also gain a number of compensatory picks for their free-agent defections.