Less than 24 hours after suffering a crushing loss to the Redskins at FedEx Field, the Dallas Cowboys followed through on their plan to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Monday, adding a trip to the Lincoln Memorial on a lovely day for Washington sightseeing.
“It makes you proud to be a part of America,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told TMZ as he left the Lincoln Memorial. “Just to be here, it’s always fabulous to get to come up here and play Washington and get to just be reminded of what a great nation this is.”
Their tour had been arranged well in advance of Sunday’s loss; ESPN reported that it resulted from offseason conversations between DeMarcus Lawrence and Coach Jason Garrett, and that the team’s leadership council was excited by the possibility. The Cowboys have arranged sightseeing trips before other road games; Garrett called the museum “special” and “inspirational” in a brief interview with TMZ.
“It’s going to be monumental, because in this world that we live in . . . we don’t know our history,” linebacker Jaylon Smith told ESPN before the Washington trip. “Getting a chance to stay an extra day and learn about that is going to be tremendous. That’s the number one thing that I want: to learn, gain an understanding of the world and society we live in and what happened, what’s my true history, where do I really come from.”
Dallas lost to Washington on Sunday when a last-second, potential game-tying 52-yard field goal attempt clanked off the left upright. The trip came amid mounting scrutiny of Garrett, quarterback Dak Prescott and the team’s roster.
While the Cowboys were scheduled to visit the museum before it was open to the public, their trip to the Lincoln Memorial attracted plenty of gawkers.
TMZ asked Jones about criticism that Monday’s museum visit was a publicity stunt designed to assuage hard feelings about his hard-line rhetoric concerning player protests.
“Well I don’t think that’s the case,” Jones said. “This is a player effort, and our players wanted to do this. It’s their great idea, and we sure wanted to do it and be a part of it.”
The 3-4 Cowboys, who have a bye this week, made major news a few hours after their sightseeing tour by trading for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper.
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