Josh Brent spent Sunday’s game on the Cowboys sideline, a jarring sight a little more than a week after Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter following a car accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown. But Brent’s presence was requested by his teammates.
Brent, a defensive tackle who is on the reserve/non-football injury list for the rest of the season, wore a Cowboys sweatshirt and hat on the sideline through the team’s win against Pittsburgh. Brent had Brown’s No. 57 jersey draped over his shoulder during the national anthem according to some reports, including one from the Dallas Morning News.
“His teammates asked him to come and be down there with him, so that’s where we are,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, according to DallasCowboys.com. “I do know that certainly there’s the other side of the coin, but this is the case of the people that he’s arguably the closest to really wanted him around.” Brent’s presence on the sideline was criticized during CBS’s halftime show of the Steelers-Cowboys game. The Huffington Post transcribed the comments from CBS analysts Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher on Brent.
“It’s the last thing I thought I’d see today. I think it’s disgraceful by the Dallas Cowboys to put that young man on the sideline,” Esiason said, according to Huffington Post.
“It’s an insensitive move by the Dallas Cowboys for all the reasons we said,” Cowher said.
But the Cowboys players apparently wanted Brent, who was released last Sunday on a $500,000 bond, on the sideline. That follows the words and actions of Brown’s mother, who invited Brent to Brown’s funeral and has expressed that she forgives Brent.
“What we wanted to do as an organization was support Jerry Brown’s mom’s wishes,” head coach Jason Garrett said, according to DallasCowboys.com. “The players encouraged Josh to be there, a number of phone calls, ‘You’re coming to the game.’ That’s just our guys understanding the situation, understanding Stacey Jackson’s wishes for Josh. She considers Josh a son and she loves him very much. We love him very much and we’re going to try and support him every way that we can.”