Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was on the sideline in street clothes during yesterday’s overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one week after being charged with intoxication manslaughter for a one-car accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown.
Brent, 24, was welcomed by the team on a day that Brown was remembered with a moment of silence, while Cowboys players wore a decal with Brown’s No. 53 on their helmets.
“His mother asked all of his teammates, everybody to have Josh’s back, to support him,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters about Brown’s mother. “She knew Josh loved her son Jerry. She knew Jerry would want this. His teammates asked him to come and be down there with them.”
Brent’s presence on the sideline -- wearing a Cowboys sweatshirt and hat -- during the nationally televised National Football League game in Arlington, Texas, was questioned by 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 during yesterday’s game.
“I do know certainly there is the other side of the coin,” Jones said about whether Brent should have been at the game. “But this is a case of the people who he’s arguably the closest to really wanting him around.”
Brent was charged on Dec. 8 after the vehicle he was driving at high speed hit a curb and flipped at least once in Irving, Texas. Brown, his close friend and former college teammate at the University of Illinois, was found unresponsive at the scene and died at a local hospital. Brent had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Brent said last week in a statement that he was devastated and would live with the “horrific and tragic loss every day” for the rest of his life. Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, forgave Brent at her son’s memorial service, saying the death wasn’t entirely his fault, and Brent attended Brown’s funeral in Dallas on Dec. 11.