Jerry Jones satisfied with Cowboys' vaccination rates entering camp
The Dallas Cowboys have been criticized by franchise legend Michael Irvin for failing to reach the 85% COVID-19 vaccine threshold set by the NFL this year. However, owner Jerry Jones is comfortable with where his team stands.
Jones says virtually the entire coaching staff is already vaccinated and most players have already committed to taking their shots, with only a handful still being non-committal.
"We have as many challenges to come to a camp as I've ever experienced in any time that I've been with the Cowboys," Jones said Wednesday, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. "We are under protocol. We know how to operate under protocol.
He added: "From the standpoint of the players, we have what I call 'in the pipeline.' That's committed but at some various stage of whether they need two vaccine shots and they have one or whether they're waiting a period of time so that they can have their vaccine and go through the protocol. Out of our 90 players here, we have a handful that, in my mind, have still to commit to this. A handful, and a hand is five. Several, in my mind, in that finger of five, are on their way to potentially having their vaccine ... We're very satisfied at where the Dallas Cowboys are as far as looking at our competition in the next few weeks ahead."
The NFL and players' association agreed in May to ease health and safety guidelines for clubs that top the 85% threshold. Vaccinated players won't be required to wear masks this season and won't be tested as often as unvaccinated players.
Jones also addressed Irvin's comments.
"I thought it was an outstanding message," Jones said. "Again, just to remind us, I don't know that I've ever talked to a member of those teams that won those three Super Bowls that thought we could've done it without Michael Irvin and what he brought to the locker room and to the practice field. So, that was influential."
The Cowboys, who reported for training camp Wednesday, will kick off this year's preseason on Aug. 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame game.