Cowboys set to play one day after teammate dies in car crash
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown was tragically killed in a car accident early Saturday morning after teammate Josh Brent, who was driving the car and survived the crash, hit a curb, flipping the car over and causing it to catch on fire. Brent was booked on one count of intoxicated manslaughter.
Brown, a member of the team’s practice squad, was 25 years old. It’s the latest tragedy in football involving a player dying days before the game. Brent and Brown’s Cowboys teammates were informed of the accident and Brown’s death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday.
Brent released a statement through his agent expressing his sadness.
“I am devastated and filled with grief. Filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him. I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. My prayers are with his family, our teammates and his friends at this time.”
The Washington Post reports that Brown and Brent had been teammates at Illinois before coming to the Cowboys. During his time in college, Brent had served jail time for a DUI. Brent had been trying hard to get Brown into the NFL, his lifelong dream.
Troy Vincent, the vice president of player engagement for the NFL, said, “the NFL provides extensive substance abuse and driver’s education throughout the year as part of our ongoing mandatory life skills programs beginning in the player’s rookie season.”
There are programs in place for NFL players who go out at night. The NFL and the Players Association offer a service that players can call up and get a ride home for just $85.
In the wake of the tragedy, the Cowboys must still focus on Sunday’s game and season ahead of them. Unlike last year, they are in the playoff hunt and still need to perform at their highest capacity.
”Guys are really just focused on football and coach did a good job of addressing, we need to remember Jerry and what’s happened, but our season is still on the line and we still need to go forward and work toward that season we want to have,” said backup linebacker Alex Albright.
They will go into Sunday’s game against the Bengals with heavy hearts, and there is in a plan in place to honor the memory of Jerry Brown with a moment of silence.
Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs played a day after Jovan Belcher‘s murder-suicide. The Chiefs won against the Panthers, so the Cowboys could look to Kansas City for inspiration on how to move on so quickly.