The Cowboys organization took a big blow this morning as they prepared to make the trip to Cincinnati for Sunday’s 1:00 PM EST tilt with the Bengals. As the team was boarding their flight, they were informed that starting NT Josh Brent had been arrested for “intoxication manslaughter” after a drunken vehicular accident early that morning. The manslaughter charge was made against Brent, who has been starting in relief of the injured Jay Ratliff, because the passenger in the vehicle he was driving died as a result of the crash.
The passenger was Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown.
Reports are that Brent and Brown, friends and college teammates at Illinois, were out at a club until the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning. Brent lost control of the vehicle and it flipped multiple times, resulting in Brown’s death.
“Officers at the scene believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash; therefore, Price-Brent was asked to perform field sobriety tests,” a statement from the Irving Police Department said. “Based on the results of the tests, along with the officer’s observations and conversations with Price-Brent, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He was transported to an area hospital for a mandatory blood draw. Once it was learned that the passenger of his vehicle had died as a result of the crash, Price-Brent was booked into the Irving City Jail on one count of Intoxication Manslaughter.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a statement expressing sadness at Brown’s death.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown,” Jones said. “Our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry’s family and all of those who knew him and loved him.”
We here at WhoDeyFans.com send our deepest condolences to the Brown family.
From a football perspective, today’s events come right on the heels of last week’s Javon Belcher murder-suicide, bringing more negative press and tragedy to the league. It can’t be seen as good news for a league that continues to struggle with image problems in recent years.
From a Cowboys perspective, the team will no doubt be playing with heavy hearts and a sense of bewilderment. Whether that translates to inspired play in the memory of their fallen teammate or an unwanted distraction they cannot overcome remains to be seen. In terms of personnel, Brent’s arrest further complicates their problems on defense where they are suffering from multiple injury issues and starters out. To try and shore up the line before the game, the team placed Safety Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve and called up practice squad DT Rob Callaway.
For the Bengals, Marvin Lewis would do well to use this senseless tragedy as a lesson to reinforce to his players how fragile life is, and how important it is for them to cherish their opportunity as NFL players and as human beings. On the field, the team may be able to take advantage of the depleted Dallas front in the running game, allowing the Bengals to push for a fifth straight win.