DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Admitting that his players were under pressure, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he was proud of how the team responded by agreeing to kneel and pray, then standing for the National Anthem.

Jones said earlier this week he felt the message of unity, the message of equality, was getting pushed aside by the controversy…and by the action of some, even created the controversy.

“It was a trying time” said Jones. “The players were truly under pressure to kneel at the flag.” Jones even pointed out how star wide receiver Dez Bryant was “torn” by the pressure.

Jones told The Fan’s Shan & RJ show that after careful consideration and meetings with coaches and players, they all agreed on a plan…and plan that was to take place just minutes before the kickoff.

“We (agreed) to kneel together before the Anthem, but not around the flag” said Jones. “It’s not something that could have been rehearsed. I was a little concerned after it was over, I was afraid that the association of kneeling close to the flag (to pray) was going to be misinterpreted, but i’m rewarded by the fact it’s been separated from the flag.”

Refuting the ‘fake news’ that he told the players to stand for the National Anthem or be fired, Jones tells The Fan, “I’ve asked the players for anything we might do. I ask! Ask…not tell.”

“The most important thing for the NFL, the most important thing for everybody involved, is to leave the impression and the fact that you’ve not dishonored the flag” said Jones. “Perception is very real in what we do. Perception is a part of the game, it’s a big part of the league, it a part of each of the player’s reputation, and you’ve got to keep all of those things in mind when you act.”

Jones also talked about the phone call he got from President Donald Trump.

“He did call” said Jones. “He was complimentary, which doesn’t mean that in any way we acquiesce d to what he was implying. What we (Dallas Cowboys) wanted to do was make a statement and certainly not dishonor the flag. The debate is whether you’re dishonoring it or not. And to stand up there and say a group such as the NFL and our players are doing anything that doesn’t respect the flag is just not something that could be accepted.”

Jones reiterated what the Cowboys did on Monday night before the game not disrespectful.

“Our effort specifically said it’s different when the flag is out and we’re going to stand and honor the flag when it is when it’s not out.”