At the first day of Cowboys' training camp Saturday in Oxnard, Calif., the team hosted 13 family members of the five Dallas police officers slain on July 7 by Micah Xavier Johnson.
Dallas police chief David Brown and mayor Mike Rawlings were also in attendance.
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The idea to invite the families was inspired by Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who once met Patrick Zamarripa, one of the fallen officers, according to the Dallas Morning N
Cowboys players and coaches, as well as police officers, escorted the family members onto the field, where everyone formed a circle around Rawlings and Brown.
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The Cowboys also wore special helmet decals that said “ARM IN ARM” to honor the Dallas police and to promote the message of unity.
Brown is encouraging Cowboys players to get involved with the community, and to be a positive influences on race relations.
"I talked about there being two things you can do: You can be part of the problem by being silent or being complicit, or you can be part of the solution by having a voice, by lending your role as a professional athlete to this cause," Brown said, per the Dallas Morning News. "I think that people need to hear, from all parts of society, a discussion on race. It's the toughest discussion that we all have, but it's part of the root cause of some of the problems that we see in some of our communities. I really do believe that sports, entertainment can have an influence on young people if they were able to strike the right chord in the way they talk about some of these issues."'
The family members flew to Southern California on Friday and return home Sunday on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' plane.