Sports | August 25, 2021 11:20 am

Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Is the Surprising Face of the NFL’s Pro-Vax Movement

It's a weird, weird world these days

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones welcomes fans
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones welcomes fans to training camp.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty

Former Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley, a 32-year-old who played college football at Southern Methodist University and made the team as an undrafted free agent, publicly proclaimed his anti-vaccination status with a PSA on Twitter in mid-July.

Now a member of the Bills, Beasley was among four Buffalo players sidelined for at least five days starting yesterday after being deemed to have close contact with a trainer who tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all four players, despite testing negative, are expected to miss the Bills’ final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Appearing on his weekly radio show Tuesday, Beasley’s former boss, Dallas owner Jerry Jones, was asked about what he would say to players like Beasley who refuse to get vaccinated and therefore face restrictions and protocols that can lead to them being sidelined and missing practice as well as game action.

Jones, who is nearly 80 years old, supported Donald Trump and mandated that his players “stand during the anthem, toe on the line” instead of taking a knee to protest social and racial injustice, actually gave a pretty surprising answer.

“To me, this is a team game. We rely on each other to play. We rely on each other to win. We have to have each other. There’s 11 guys out there at any one time to be trite about it. You have to count on the other guy being available, and you certainly don’t want to be doing anything that causes your teammates to not be available,” Jones said, per ProFootballTalk. “All of that comes to the same conclusion as far as what you agreed to be as far as a player, be part of a team. You check ‘I’ at the door, so to speak.”

The Cowboys, who currently have four players and a coach (three of whom are fully vaccinated but still tested positive)  in COVID-19 protocol, announced Saturday that their player vaccination rate is 93%. You’d have to think that Jones, who sounds as if he would have little patience for a player’s vaccination status causing him to miss time, is a big reason for that.

“Everyone has a right to make their own decisions regarding their health and their body. I believe in that completely until your decisions as to yourself impacts negatively many others,” he said. “Then, the common good takes over. And I’m arm-waving here, but that has everything to do with the way I look at our team, the Cowboys, or the way I look at our society. We have got to check ‘I’ at the door and go forward with ‘we.’ Your Dallas Cowboys are doing that.”

Even if one former Cowboy isn’t.