Bettors, Bookmakers Pay Careful Attention to Cowboys Anthem Distractions

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/11/2017

In light of comments made by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones this week publicly insisting that any player failing to stand during the National Anthem will be benched, sports bettors and bookmakers alike are keeping a close eye on the Cowboys morale as their game against the 49ers approaches for Week 7.  Dallas has a bye this weekend and plenty of time to comprehend all that is taking place.  The line on this game was expected to be -7.5 favoring Dallas on the road.

Speaking on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, Jones said the players could express themselves prior to the national anthem in a similar manner to how the team handled things before their Sept. 25 game at the Arizona Cardinals in which case Jones himself took a knee.

US President Donald Trump has continued to weigh in, applauding Jones for his stance while demanding the NFL require all players from every team to stand.

"If there's anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play," Jones said after Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers. "Understand? We will not ... if we are disrespecting the flag, then we will not play. Period."

A local labor union has filed a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board against the Cowboys saying Jones' threats prevent allowable, "concerted activity" at work. The team and the NFL declined comment on the filing.

The National Football League Player’s Union was expected to issue a statement some time Wednesday.

Jones met with players on Wednesday where he asserted the notion that it would be prudent for him to "play the bad guy".

In the meeting, Jones sought to ensure players also saw the bigger picture regarding the business side of the situation, including concerns over TV ratings and sponsors, the source said.

Jones, in the team meeting held after practice, also offered the players a chance to speak with him one on one, the source said.

From ESPN.com:

By the time the locker room opened to the media Wednesday, a good portion of the players headed to their cars. Because the Cowboys are on their bye, there are no post-practice meetings. Those who did speak were tight-lipped. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick, a captain, said "no comment," seven different times to questions about Jones' recent statements and the anthem controversy.

Kicker Dan Bailey, who is also a captain, serves as the Cowboys' representative to the NFL Players Association. He said there have been numerous conference calls with the players' association regarding the situation.

"I think my first responsibility is to listen and provide that forum for them and then my next job is to relay that to the people that I talk to in that representation," Bailey said. "So in that forum, I'm more of just a middle man, be an ear here in the locker room and provide feedback to them and then like I said we can have the discussion amongst all the teams as far as that goes."

Bailey said the team's focus did not appear to be affected Wednesday.

Oddsmakers will be releasing an official opening line Sunday evening with fluctuations possible depending on any news that might surface during that period, most notably the potential for a star player to kneel in protest. Pundits appearing on some media outlets have questioned what would happen should an entire group of players for a single position such as wide receivers were to sit during the Anthem.

The Cowboys opponent, the San Francisco 49ers, featured players that were among the first to protest during the playing of the National Anthem last season.

And more bad news Thursday as  a federal appeals court cleared the way for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations, siding with the league in the latest high-profile fight over its ability to punish players for off-field behavior.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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