The Cowboys came back in the fourth quarter to beat the Bengals on the road on Sunday, a feat that would be worthy of a pat on the back even if they did it without the death of teammate Jerry Brown in a car accident early Saturday morning that left defensive lineman Josh Brent in jail on charges of intoxication manslaughter.
After the win, the Cowboys acknowledged that football was far from the only thing on their minds. Running back DeMarco Murray said that it didn’t feel like a win and fullback Lawrence Vickers said he was emotionally drained after finding himself crying before, during and after they beat the Bengals. Coach Jason Garrett talked about waht he said to the team on Saturday night before the game.
“I talked about how football is very different than life,” Garrett said, via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. “I made it clear that this is a life situation, and we lost a 25-year-old young man who had his whole life in front of him. He was a teammate and a friend. All we asked our team last night was to understand what happened and to somehow channel their emotions into honoring Jerry today. It was a hard thing to do. Football is a game of emotion, and somehow we had to process it all and do our job today. … The win was nice. But to play and do their job was just as nice.”
Garrett called Brown’s mother after the game and promised her the game ball and there will be a memorial service on Tuesday that is sure to be another emotional experience for the Cowboys. It’s a different situation than the one the Chiefs faced the week before, but the Cowboys’ ability to do their jobs under trying circumstances was just as admirable.
They’ll be asked to do it again next weekend and, as quarterback Tony Romo said in Rapoport’s piece, there’s no playbook for handling these kinds of things.