Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of a teammate, won’t be allowed on the club’s sideline for the rest of the season after spending time there two days ago, ESPN reported.
The National Football League and the team didn’t know that Brent would be on the sideline in street clothes during the Cowboys’ victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and both agree that it’s not appropriate, ESPN said, citing unidentified people with the league and the squad. Brent’s presence was criticized by CBS commentators during the network’s telecast of the game.
Rich Dalrymple, a spokesman for the Cowboys, declined to comment on the report in an e-mail. Greg Aiello, a league spokesman, said in a separate e-mail the league hadn’t barred Brent and that the Cowboys were handling the matter.
Brent, 24, was charged after a one-car accident early on Dec. 8 in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas. He was driving at high speed when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, killing teammate Jerry Brown, according to police. He had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Brent said in a statement that he was devastated and would live with the “horrific and tragic loss every day” for the rest of his life. He attended the funeral with the blessing of Brown’s family.
With a moment of silence before the game for Brown and players wearing his No. 53 on their helmets, Brent, who is on the Cowboys’ reserve/non-injury list, was encouraged to attend the game by Brown’s mother, who asked the Cowboys’ players to support him, team owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the overtime win.
“I do know certainly there is the other side of the coin,” Jones said on whether Brent should have attended the game. “But this is a case of the people who he’s arguably the closest to really wanting him around.”
Jones didn’t know Brent was at the game until seeing him on television, and the contest had already begun before coach Jason Garrett noticed, according to ESPN. Brent, who was reluctant to attend, left in the third quarter when informed that his presence had sparked a debate, the website said.
Among those who were critical was CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason.
“Am I the only one that is wondering what in the world the Cowboys are thinking with Josh Brent on the sideline?” Esiason said on his Twitter account.
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