OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys won't be allowed to wear their "Arm In Arm" helmet decal for their upcoming slate of preseason games.
The NFL denied the team's request to wear the decal, which has adorned their helmets throughout training camp practices. The sticker was conceived as a display of unity with the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department, following the fatal shootings that rocked the community and the nation on July 7.
"We certainly understand the position the league takes on this but it won't diminish our support for that concept of unity and supporting our police force and what they do to make our lives batter on a daily basis," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
The Cowboys opened their first practice of training camp by taking the field with members of Dallas-area law enforcement, as well as the families of several victims of the shootings. Jason Witten helped conceive the gesture, and he was also a vocal proponent for the decal. Like Garrett, Witten said the Cowboys' inability wont hinder their continued support in the community.
"I understand that the NFL has uniform rules and guidelines that they've got to follow," Witten said. "But that still doesn't mean we're not going to support and honor our community and stand arm-in-arm with them – now and in the future. It still doesn't stop us from supporting them."
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said it's disappointing that his team won't be allowed to wear the decal, but he was encouraged that the Cowboys did their part to advance the conversation.
"The fact that it's been noted and talked about accomplishes a lot -- maybe not as much as the overt symbol on the helmet," Jones said. "But it's got a lot of attention and what it's about is showing the need and respect for unity. That's what the team wanted to do and they did it and we're proud of that and we respect the league's decision."
-- David Helman