The Dallas Cowboys will not allow suspended lineman Josh Brent to stand with his teammates during games for the rest of the season.
Brent stood on the sideline Sunday as the Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and ESPN reported that team and NFL officials were unaware that Brent would be there and that they agree his presence is inappropriate. Brent is on the reserve/non-football injury list after being charged with intoxication manslaughter in connection with a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown on Dec. 8.
Several teammates reportedly encouraged him to attend the game Sunday and Coach Jason Garrett was unaware that Brent would be there until he saw him after kickoff on television. On Monday, Garrett said that players were following the wishes of Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson. She has stood by Brent since the death of Brown, who was her son’s longtime friend.
Brent left in the third quarter as more and more people were becoming aware of his presence and commenting on it.
“It becomes a real sensitive topic to a lot of people when you’re in a public place like the game,” Garrett said Monday (via ESPN’s Ed Werder). “There were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team. This is a game and you need to be here. That’s what our players wanted to convey to him and they really encouraged him to come to the game. I thought Josh handled it beautifully the way that he came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave. But we’re going to support him in every way that we can. We also will be sensitive to this kind of issue.”
Brent, who reportedly had a blood-alcohol level more than two times the legal limit in Texas at the time of the crash, was placed on the reserve list to allow him to have access to the Cowboys’ facility and his teammates. During a court appearance today, Brent was ordered to wear an electronic monitor, barred from drinking or driving and had his bond lowered from $500,000 to $100,000.