Smith called for owners to show greater support for players.

“So those are football decisions,” Goodell continued. “They’re made all the time. I believe that if a football team feels that Colin Kaepernick, or any other player, is going to improve that team, they’re going to do it.”

Bennett’s Seahawks were the only team that has so far publicly shown any interest in Kaepernick, who helped San Francisco to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games in six seasons. The 29-year-old Nevada product struggled with injuries and inconsistent play over the past two years, even losing his job to Blaine Gabbert for a spell, but he managed to throw 16 touchdown passes against just four interceptions last season, while remaining a dangerous threat on the ground (69 carries for 468 yards and two touchdowns).

“I look forward to the day when everyone in Management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the Flag stands for: ‘Liberty and Justice for All’ instead of some of them just talking about standing,” Smith said in Monday’s statement. “We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.

“No player is disrespecting our Country or our Flag. As thousands have shown in the past, it takes bravery and courage to speak and confront these issues as our players have, especially when it is unpopular with some.”

“There is room for Management to do the same,” he said, “and maybe then players do not have to risk the taunts and threats alone. This is their opportunity to lead as well and will be a true test of their motto that ‘Football is Family.’ ”

It all served as a vivid reminder that the NFL is struggling mightily these days to have its Sundays be about the action on the field.

There is room to wonder how much credit DeFilippo deserves for what has gone right this season for the Eagles on offense. They have an offensive-minded head coach, Doug Pederson. Their offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, also will be considered for head coaching jobs. But even that is reminiscent of McVay. With him, there was room to wonder how much of what he’d done right as offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins had been attributable to working for Jay Gruden, another offensive-minded head coach.cowboys_095

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