Josh Brent “devastated and filled with grief” at Jerry Brown’s death


Last night, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent went out with his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. Tonight, Brown is dead and Brent is in jail, facing a charge of intoxication manslaughter. From jail, Brent issued a statement through his agent expressing deep sadness at that shocking turn of events.

“I am devastated and filled with grief,” Brent said. “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.”

Brent and Brown were teammates and friends at Illinois before they became teammates again this season when the Cowboys signed Brown to their practice squad. Friends, teammates and coaches from their Illinois days have described the two as close and said that Brent had welcomed Brown to the Cowboys and served as a mentor to him.

Now Brown’s life is over at the age of 25, while the 24-year-old Brent faces a felony charge and, he says, a tragic loss that he’ll live with forever.

39 responses to “Josh Brent “devastated and filled with grief” at Jerry Brown’s death

  1. This must be immensely difficult for him. I’m sure he will carry a heavy burden for the rest of his life. It’s too bad he had to learn his lesson in a costly way such as this. Rest in peace, Jerry Brown. Condolences to his family and friends.

  2. No sentence imposed by the court – and he deserves whatever they give him – will ever match what he must be going through emotionally right now, and will continue to go through forever.

  3. I actually doubt he will spend too much time in prison, and I hope he doesn’t. Regardless, I hope his story is utilized.
    Instead, I hope he is ‘forced’ or placed into a roll with the NFL to spread the word about how horrible the outcome of drinking and driving can be….as sad as it is, this guy has one hell of a shocking story and many inside and outside of sports can learn from it. And I think this guy owes it to society to contribute in that sort of way.

  4. Sorry, but I don’t have much sympathy for him. He already did a month in the slammer for DUI in 2009.

    He knew the pain and suffering such behavior might cause other people from that. He.Knew.That.

    I can’t imagine the grief and guilt he must feel. But he and he alone is responsible for both. And he should feel every ounce of guilt and grief over it because he should have known better.

  5. For all the talk about “don’t drive drunk” (and rightfully so)…

    There’s another equally dangerous message that I wish got more mention. DON’T DRIVE TIRED. It was early in the morning when the crash occurred and I’d bet Brent was sleepy on top of being drunk.

    When I was a 20-year old college kid, I was making the 7-hour drive back home one weekend. I was extremely sleepy from having partied the night before, but I stupidly pressed on. Twenty minutes from my parents’ house, I dozed off on the freeway for what must’ve been less than 5 seconds. When I woke up, I immediately swerved to the left to avoid a crash and collided with an SUV beside me. The SUV flipped MULTIPLE times but my car straightened out and was fine.

    It took 4 days before I heard of the fate of those in the other car. Worst 4 days of my life as I imagined the worst. What if there were kids in the car that I killed with my stupidity? Babies? Luckily, the man and his wife in that car escaped with minor injuries and I was let off the hook for my INCREDIBLY STUPID, IMMATURE, AND SELFISH decision to drive while tired.

    Please spread this message and tell my story like I try to as often as I can. DON’T DRIVE TIRED. Just pull over and take a nap if you need to. I got lucky. Many others weren’t as lucky and won’t be as lucky in the future.

  6. Although prison time is necessary here, you would almost want a situation where Brent was allowed to play football and forced to pay a large portion of his salary to the family of Brown.

  7. Didn’t hear an apology in that statement. Can’t believe people can be so wreckless. What a shame.

  8. Very careful to not take ANY responsibility or admit any culpability, however.
    I mean this sincerely, whatever lawyer wrote his statement did a good job; as a second time DUI, he could be in prison a while.
    Truly a senseless tragedy for all concerned.

  9. Brown is just as responsible for his own death as Brent is. Brown got into a car with a drunk driver, after partying with him all night.

    Baffles me that these millionaires don’t have a full time driver to drive them around from the clubs/bars/parties. I’m sure pro athletes can afford to pay some guy $50k a year to drive them everywhere they want to go.

  10. The NFL knew Josh Brent had a DUI player in College so should have had a mentor he is just 24 years of age still young with partying on their mind. Maybe now the NFL will pay close attention to these young players coming into the league with drinking problems, angry problems, and drugs problems all of this is included in players safety. These are the important parts of players safety doing the right thing, I hope Jerry Brown family and friends don’t charge this to Josh Brent heart charge it to his mind. Because Josh Brent is the one that’s heart is aching with sadness and the one who has to live with it he going to need everybody prayers. Josh Brent & Jerry Brown was very close may as well say like brothers, I pray that God watch over him mentally and physically keep him in his right mind.

  11. I expect with the regular season soon to come to a close, that the Commissioner / NFLPA and owners/ coaches will come together after back to back tragedies to make some changes on two major issues: Drunk Driving and Domestic Violence (after last weeks family tragedy) – for which the penalties / suspensions / punishments will be and should be severe, especially as two NFL players are now deceased in just over 8 days due to these type of issues.

  12. Benny, most cowboys fans are sick and tired of Jerry’s managing of the cowboys, but none would doubt he won’t help out the young mans family he left behind. Besides Terrell Owens, Jerry’s always been there for his players. Gotta give the guy a little credit here with as much as we all bash him. (im not even a cowboys fan, so don’t think my homer side is showing)

  13. This tragedy is really upsetting, I couldn’t fathom killing my best friend. What could you even say to his family ?

  14. Young kids do stupid things. I’m not condoning speeding or driving intoxicated. Not at all. But, in my youth…I did both. I’m not going to cast a stone here.

    Hopefully, other young kids will learn from this and not die–or kill someone else–as a result.

    Condolences to the families and fans. Hate the Cowboys, but certainly don’t want to see something like this happen to them or anyone else.

  15. divan22: great post.

    Driving tired is lethal. So is texting, putting makeup, looking for a channel, doing anything but concentrating on the road.

    Accidents happen FAST. You don’t have time to change your mind about that text, or realize you could find that lighter or change the channel at the next light.

    There are no do-overs when things go wrong.

  16. I hope he doesn’t spend too much time in jail as well. It’s not like he’s some incredibly evil person, he’s just stupid. The pain of killing who appears to have been his best friend is as bad anything the legal system can do to him.

    The legal system punishes brown’s family as well if they come down too hard on brent. Brent should spend the rest of his life helping out brown’s family the way brown would have if he had lived. He cant do that from jail. I guarantee you thats what brown would have wanted, for his familiy to be taken care of. Would you really want to prevent that from happening by taking away any chance brent has to do it?

    Can we think of brown’s family first here?

  17. So many poor decisions made by BOTH men that evening and early morning.

    They have a flight the next day, meetings and a game in 48 hrs. Sensible to be well rested and on top mentally.

    Shame to both and fortune that no innocent bystanders where injured.

    Either could have called a cab.

  18. There’s a difference, to me anyways, when a drunk driver kills his passenger than there is when a drunk driver kills an innocent, fellow motorist or pedestrian. Although it is extremely sad what happened, Brown agreed to get into the car with Brent, obviously knowing he was intoxicated. He could have refused to get in the car or he could’ve been more forceful in having the two men take a taxi home. I know someone this happened to about 10 years ago; two of my best friends were coming from a bar & the driver flipped the car; one of my friends, the passenger, died & my other friend, the driver, spend 6 years in prison. I still talk to my friend who was driving & he lives with what he did every single day & is absolutely heartbroken over his actions. To the family of Brown, there is no difference, there is just the fact that their son / brother / boyfriend was killed by a drunk driver. The hurt will never go away for anyone involved, mostly Brent. I just wish one of them, Brown or Brent, had more sense to themselves last night & never got in that car.

  19. brenenostler said | Dec 9, 2012, 12:43 AM EST
    “I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I don’t think this makes Brent a bad guy by any means. He just made a very big mistake.”

    I agree on the mistake. More importantly, though, I disagree about what kind of guy this makes Brent. He was a repeat offender with the DUI. His initial penalty was severe enough that it almost damaged his ability to ever play in the NFL. Certainly, the punishment was enough to have himself take a personal inventory and reset his priorities. He was fortunate then that there were no victims.

    Fast forward and we are at such a tragic place. There’s a dead man and a manslaughter charge. There has been a previous incident. I am not naive enough to believe that he hasn’t been driving drunk between incidents. With these things in mind, that he is personally and primarily responsible for taking someone else’s life, the repeated nature of this behavior, makes Brent elitist, immature, and above the law. With all that we know, it makes Brent a deservingly future convict. In other words, a bad guy.

  20. @divan22

    You’re so right about driving tired. The statistics for accidents caused by tired drivers is astounding. A quick web search is recommended for everyone.

    There’s another message that doesn’t get enough attention. And that’s to not to get into a car with a driver who’s been drinking.

  21. There by the grace of god. 24 and 25 aren’t kids but it is still young enough to think you’re indestructible. I know many will get eviscerate Brent but I also know statistics being what they are a number of you have been in almost the exact same situation as Brown and Brent either as the passenger or driver driving over the limit. Remember the limit in most if not all states is .08 which is ridiculously easy to go over with just a few drinks. How many parties and events have you gone to and seen people drinking and then turning around and getting behind the wheel? I’m not talking sloppy slurred speach drunk rather a a shot and 1-2 buzz nice. Those people are over the limit. How many tailgate events have you been to and saw the same thing?

    In fact if police departments really wanted to catch folks all they would need to do is have random checkpoints around stadiums after games or set them up right around the corner from popular night clubs and bars. I know driving after drinking is a dangerous thing and plenty of you know the same but judging from court records plenty of you have done or did do the same thing. Some got caught some didn’t.

    The reason for this long post is really to address those with over the top venom towards Brent. What he did was irresponsible and it cost the death of a friend. But it wasn’t malicious. He will pay for it through the lost of freedom, career, as well as emotional and psychological pain.

  22. How many times do we have to hear the words Don’t Drink And Drive before we listen? This was totally preventable and should set a reminder to everyone! If drinking is on the nights agenda have a safe game plan for a safe return home for all. Again how many times do we need to watch commercials read articles stating Don’t Drink And Drive before we listen?

  23. Being a person who has lost both parents to a drunk driver , I feel for Jerry’s family !!! As far as Brent , my heart goes out to you that you find the man upstairs to guide you right .. Be accountable and people will forgive but never forget

  24. I’ve gotten in cars with drunk drivers. I knew the risk. If something happened to me, I hope my friend wouldn’t go to jail. For all of you who want significant prison time, ask yourself, what would Brown want the punishment to be? (And btw – we don’t know Brent was drunk yet.)

  25. As tragic as this is, you know the risk you take when getting in the car with someone who is driving drunk. It seems everyone nowadays has a “it won’t happen to me” mentality. I really don’t understand why these football players don’t just call a cab (if I can afford a cab, they can afford a cab.)

  26. A couple of people have already mentioned this, but it’s mostly being overlooked. It’s just as foolish to get into the passenger seat with a drunk driver as it is to get behind the wheel. True, the driver will be the one law enforcement will charge, but everyone in the car is equally at risk from the standpoint of their own safety.

    Call a cab.

  27. It’s refreshing to see some rational responses instead of just a bunch of condemnation. He made a very bad mistake that he will be paying for in many ways for the rest of his life. I’m willing to bet the majority of people posting in these threads have driven drunk at least once. And once is all it takes. It’s just a shame all around and it could happen to anybody that drives drunk.

  28. What Brent did was wrong. But my suspicion is that a large portion of the population takes risks like this at that age. Many get away with it without incident, pure luck. Some don’t and they are held up and judged by self righteous people that more than likely are guilty at some point in their life of the same poor choices. They just got away with it. Sad for both Brown and Brent.

  29. I met Josh when he was 16. He used to compete against my son’s in the shot put and discus. I know he looks tough but he has a soft voice and was the nicest high school kid I ever met. Very polite, using the word please. His uncle was very supportive of him and trying to be a role model for him because Josh didn’t have many role models. Josh just had a great game last week against the Eagles. He was making us all proud. I’m at a loss of what to do or say. The police did a sobriety test on the scene and concluded Josh was drunk. I’m assuming they took a blood sample later and we will find out how much of a role alcohol had to play. My prayers to out for Jerry Brown’s family, Josh’s Uncle and for Josh.

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