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Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

This holiday football weekend has a different kind of backdrop this year: the ongoing debate about players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's half-season run from his six-game suspension ended Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to let him play while it considers his appeal.

From Texas Standard:

Two Houston-area high school students protesting the Pledge of Allegiance say their constitutional rights have been violated by their school districts – and they’re taking their protest to court.

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

ESPN Broadcast / Screenshot

The declaration by the powerful owner of the Dallas Cowboys that he would bench anyone who shows disrespect to the American flag drew a sharp response from the NFL players' union Monday and raised the possibility of another call to action by athletes who have kneeled during the national anthem.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET Sunday

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The NFL filed an emergency motion in federal appeals court Friday, hoping to get a swift ruling on its request to overrule a judge who blocked a six-game suspension for star Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in a domestic violence case in Ohio.

Almost five years ago, soon after the suicide of linebacker Junior Seau, the NFL announced it was donating $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for brain research.

Michael Conroy / AP Photo

High school football in North Texas produces talent that has made it to the NFL, and on Thursday night an Arlington native made history.

Adrees Latif / Reuters

Almost a week after Houston hosted Super Bowl LI, the NFL has weighed in on what Texas’ so-called “bathroom bill” could mean for future championship football games in Texas.

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Every football fan knows about crime and punishment on the field. You break the rules? You get a penalty. A team of researchers including professors from the University of Texas at Dallas has tried to gauge the link between penalties on the field — and crime off it. 

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For Dallas Cowboys fans, Sunday will be the end of a long drought, and they hope last season wasn’t a mirage.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

If anyone still thinks the sports world is just about the scoreboard, they haven't been watching too closely.

Correspondent Tom Goldman chronicles the sports world for NPR.

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Dallas Cowboys player C.J. Spillman is facing dual investigations over an alleged sexual assault that took place on Sept. 20 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine.

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An explosive PBS documentary recently investigated concussions in the NFL -- and it featured former Dallas Cowboys star Troy Aikman.

The Frontline program, "League of Denial," reported on a concussion that the Cowboys quarterback suffered in 1994, as well as a scary exchange that he had with his agent following the incident. Aikman experienced significant memory issues. He sat in a darkened hospital room in North Texas, unable to stare at light.

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Almost 90 percent of concussions in high school football happen from player-to-player contact. That's one reason the NFL Players Association negotiated limits on tackling during practices.

But very few high school leagues have caught up with that NFL standard.

Texas has. The state that brought you Friday Night Lights and a $60 million high school football stadium in Allen has adopted one of the strictest limits on high school contact and tackling at practices.

Lauren Silverman

Former Dallas Cowboy Daryl Johnston is using his fame shine a light on brain injuries in sports. He says all athletes should get a baseline assessment test before playing sports, and is working with the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas to promote awareness.