Jerry and Stephen Jones are confident the Dallas Cowboys will reach vaccine threshold ‘and more’

OXNARD, Calif. — The Cowboys won’t reach the unofficial 85% threshold for player vaccinations before the first practice of training camp begins Thursday, but that should change before the season begins, they said Wednesday.

Owner Jerry Jones, executive vice president Stephen Jones and coach Mike McCarthy largely spent the first 12 minutes of a news conference discussing their players’ vaccination rate. Jerry Jones was optimistic, saying that only about five of the club’s 89 players aren’t in the “pipeline” to be vaccinated.

Jones defined the pipeline as players who have verbally committed to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or have begun the steps toward full vaccination.

As of Monday, the Cowboys expected to reach a 70% vaccination rate once players who already received at least one shot became fully vaccinated, a source told the Dallas Morning News.

“Out of the (89) players here, we have a handful in my mind that are still to commit to this,” Jerry Jones said. “A handful — a hand is five. … There’s not one thing about this issue of vaccine as it pertains to COVID that in any way, relative to the other 31 teams in the NFL, will put us at a competitive disadvantage.”

This year, MLB, NBA and NHL were among the sports leagues to reward any team with at least 85% of its roster fully vaccinated. Various restrictions were loosened, such as mask requirements, restaurant dining and where certain players could…

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