OXNARD, Calif. – It wasn't the first question. Not the second, third or even in the first handful to get thrown in Dak Prescott's way on Friday here after the morning walk-through practice.
But the latest resurgence on the NFL anthem protests made its way to Dak's press conference. And the Cowboys quarterback didn't run from the questions, offering his opinion on why he chose to stand for the anthem last year and has no plans to change that this year.
He also made it clear that Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones' recent comments that the Cowboys will "toe the line" this year if they want to remain on the team really doesn't alter his mindset at all.
"It has no effect to me because I do exactly what I'm doing and what I've said and what I stand by, whether I'm wearing the star or not, playing for Jerry Jones Stephen Jones or any other owner," Prescott said. "I believe in what I believe in and that's that."
When asked to clarify, the quarterback said he doesn't think a protest before the anthem is the appropriate place to take such a stance.
"I never protest during the anthem and I don't think that's the time or venue to do so. The game of football has always brought me such at peace and I think it does the same for a lot of people playing the game, watching the game and a lot of people that have any impact of the game. So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game … it takes away. It takes away from the joy and to the love that football brings a lot of people.
Dak added, "For me, I'm all about making a change and making a difference. I think this whole kneeling and all that was all about raising awareness. And the fact that we're still talking about social injustice years later, I think we've got to that point. I think we've improved and we know there is social injustice. I'm up for taking a next step and whatever the step may be for action and not just kneeling. I've always believed to stand up for what I believe in and that's what I'm going to continue to do."
On Thursday, Sean Lee had a similar response as well.
"I think I'm going to do what I've always done and stand," Lee said. "Obviously I believe that there's social injustices that need to change in this country that are serious. I also believe that I'm going to stand for the anthem because I feel blessed to be an American."
While there are players around the league who obviously have differing opinions with Prescott and others on this Cowboys team who have said they will likely continue to stand for the anthem as they did last year, the quarterback said he can see their side of the issue as well.
"I respect what all those guys believe in. If they believe it's going to make a change and make a difference, then power to them," Prescott said. "But for me, I think it's about doing something action and it's not about taking a knee and not necessarily about standing. We can find a different place to make our country better. I'm not naive and I'm very aware of the social injustice that we have going on but I'm about the action that we can do to fix it rather than the silent protest."
And Prescott said he is certainly open to be included in some kind of united front if one makes sense for all parties.
"For me, it's just about to continue to inspire and motivate and hopefully people can hear what I say and believe in that," Prescott said. "I'm up for anything. I'm up to get involve with anything that I can to fix the social injustice and police brutality and all the things going on in our country. I'm all for making a difference. You can count me in if we can find something worth the action to do so to fix it."