OXNARD, Calif. – Asked after Friday's practice about Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones' stance that the players and organization should stand for the national anthem, running back Ezekiel Elliott said standing is, in fact, a team decision that "shows that we have unity."
"I just think it's the way you guys want to take it," Elliott said. "Us as a team, we chose to stand together for the national anthem. It was our decision and I think it shows our culture. It shows that we have unity. We're going to stand as one.
"That's not knocking anyone else who may choose to kneel during the national anthem. But we're the Dallas Football Cowboys, America's Team. We stand for the national anthem."
Other news and notes from Friday:
· Elliott was happy to see Rams running back Todd Gurley get a $60 million contract extension last week. "I think it's great for the running back position, which has kind of been devalued in the past couple years," Elliott said. "But we've seen a good trend of running backs getting picked high and after they're getting picked high, their teams are doing better. So I think the league is finally noticing the value of the running back." Elliott was asked what Gurley's deal could mean for his future earning potential since he has two years left remaining on his four-year rookie deal, plus a fifth-year team option. "It's really not anything I'm worried about right now," he said. "All I'm focused on is going out there and having a great year and helping lead this team."
· Safety Kavon Frazier, who has been held out of practices while the Cowboys are waiting for test results on some recent bloodwork, said he hopes to get back on the field next week. Frazier is also hopeful he can get back into the mix to compete for a starting safety position with Xavier Woods.
· The Cowboys are still not back in full pads, but they still held out some of the more experienced players for a scheduled "veteran day." As expected, linebacker Sean Lee, tackle Tyron Smith and long snapper L.P. Ladouceur worked on conditioning drills for the most of practice. It's likely the Cowboys will keep those three, and perhaps a few more selected vets, on a schedule to keep them fresh throughout camp.
· With Smith sitting out Friday, free-agent signing Cameron Fleming took first-team reps at left tackle. The Cowboys signed Fleming for depth after Smith missed games with multiple injuries last season. The 25-year-old Fleming started last year's Super Bowl at right tackle for the Patriots.
· The Cowboys won't hold offense-against-defense drills until Saturday, but wide receiver Terrance Williams appeared to be running well full-speed with no issues in his second practice back from offseason foot surgery.