Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is defending his team against criticism for allowing defensive tackle Josh Brent, who is facing charges of intoxication manslaughter in a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown, to stand on the sideline with the team on Sunday.
Jones noted that Brown’s own mother has said that she supports Brent, and Jones said that given the blessing of Brown’s family, the Cowboys saw no reason to turn their backs on Brent.
“Our team and our players wanted him today on the sideline,” Jones said, via the Star-Telegram. “Jerry’s mother asked us directly as a group. She said, ‘Support him. Help him. He needs your help. Jerry wants that. I want that.’ His teammates asked him to come and be down there with them.”
When Brent was seen on the sideline during the game on Sunday, it drew quite a bit of negative reaction on social media. And on CBS, which broadcast Sunday’s Cowboys game, analyst Boomer Esiason called it “disgraceful” that Brent was standing on the sideline.
“Football players are an example and Josh Brent is the worst of those examples,” Esiason said.
This is a tough call. Brent is facing very serious charges, and considering that Brent previously spent time in jail for drunk driving, it’s easy to see why many people think the Cowboys should shun him. On the other hand, if Brown’s mother can find it in her heart to forgive Brent, is it really the place for anyone else to stand in judgment of him?
There may not be one right answer to that question. But Jones says that for the Cowboys, the right way to handle this is to treat Brent like he’s still part of the team.