• Dez Bryant defends Jerry Jones from racist tag
  • Jones is being slammed for his silence amidst the surge of protests against racism and police brutality
  • Jones was against NFL players kneeling during the national anthem 

Dez Bryant came at the defense of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who continues to draw flak for his silence over the issue of racism and police brutality in the United States. The former Cowboys wide receiver called his former boss a “compassionate man” as he dismissed the racist tag thrown at the 77-year-old.

It was an interesting twist from his previous stand where Bryant called out Jones for their non-participation in protests in Texas on Sunday.

In a tweet, the 31-year-old wrote: "Somebody should have brought Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Witten to this protest down in Austin. This is not a policy change; this is a heart change. And yeah, I said it.''

The following day, Bryant shed light on his statement.

"It's not about me suggesting Jerry Jones is a racist. I know Jerry's heart - he's a compassionate person and he's not a racist,” he told Sports Illustrated.

Bryant stressed his support for Jones, whom he acknowledged for all the learnings he had while he was on the team. He, however, also recognized that it may be time for the veteran executive to be enlightened more about their culture.

"I have love for Mr. Jones. Almost everything I know about business -- and of course I'm still learning -- I learned from him," Bryant said. "But I believe this is a time, right now, where Mr. Jones could learn some things too. To learn about the culture."

Critics say that it is quite uncanny for an influential man as outspoken as Jones is to be mum amidst the surge in protests.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was one of the bold ones who spoke against Jones and other NFL owners’ silence, stating that the issue of racism is “not pulling them like it is the rest of the country."

“Jerry Jones, especially, has no problem speaking up any other time about anything else. But when it's such a serious issue, and he could really make a huge impact on it with a few words, his silence speaks volumes," Sherman told the San Francisco Chronicle, via ESPN.

Jones is no stranger to being scrutinized over issues on racism in the NFL. Notably, he was one of the league executives who initially gave a thumbs down on players kneeling during the national anthem in the past. But as the awareness about justice and equality spread throughout the country and the rest of the world, protesters are still hoping that powerful people like Jones would eventually speak up and make a change.

Dez Bryant Cowboys 2016
The Cowboys may or may not miss injured receiver Dez Bryant in Sunday's matchup at the San Francisco 49ers. Getty Images