Jerry Jones defends having Josh Brent on the Cowboys’ sideline

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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.

75 responses to “Jerry Jones defends having Josh Brent on the Cowboys’ sideline

  1. For those who disagree. Look to Jerry Brown’s mother. If a grieving mother has the strength to forgive this man…why can’t you?

  2. Get drunk and kill someone it’s ok because you’re a pro athlete. Great message to the kids out there Jerry

  3. Esiason hit the nail on the head, it was utterly disgraceful. I suppose because Brown’s family supports Josh Brent and the team/Jerrah supports Josh Brent, that’s all it will take for the police to drop the charges. I can understand his “supporters” supporting him behind the scenes, but to put him on national tv like he is some kind of martyr is lower than a snake’s belly and I guess we shouldn’t be surprised as Jerrah is quite familiar with a snake’s belly.

  4. 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.”

    If Brown’s mother forgave Brent, Then who’s business is it?? She lost her son. I dont think anyone of us can say anything about that.

  5. There is a difference between supporting him and minimizing his actions. The Cowboys have gone about this in a way that minimizes his actions. You can still be supportive while still emphasizing that he made a terrible mistake.

  6. I’m with Jerr Brown’s mother on this one. If the mother of the victim can forgive the man and be genuinely concerned for his emotional state and well-being, then I don’t give a rat’s *** what Boomer “I-never-won-a-ring” Esiason says to the contrary. After all, the members of the media are the barometer for what NOT to say/think.

  7. Not defending Brent, but he has done what plenty of athletes and non-athletes do. He drove drunk. Some wind up having to deal with very dire consequences, while others never get caught, and some luck out and have to deal with fines and license suspension. Some learn before the worst happens. Brent got caught in the worse way possible.

  8. I’m a skins fan. Hate the cowboys. But if the mans mother is ok with it, that’s the final word. Let’s not forget that Jerry Brown was also intoxicated and made the choice to get into the car with his friend knowing that he was intoxicated.

  9. Just because you forgive him, it doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t pay for his crime.

    Make no mistake about it, he committed a crime. He kill someone while driving drunk. That is something that is and has for some time been being made abundantly clear that it is unacceptable.

    This isn’t his first offense, Jerry paid for his mistake with his life. The driver shouldn’t get off free.

    Regarding him being on the sidelines, are other players on the unable to perform list allowed on the sideline? If so then he should be allowed.

    I heard during the game that he is suspended. If he is suspended then he shouldn’t be there.

  10. All well and good the family supports him. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. He still committed a crime that took someone else’s life. No way he should have been on the sidelines. The team can support him without him being there. It sends the wrong message to our youth. Mr. Brent used a weapon to kill another person. His weapon just happened to be a car.

  11. Brown’s mother can forgive him all she wants, doesn’t mean the next mother/father/child/sister/brother of the next person he kills via DUI will forgive him!!! I know we tend to think of the current victim when it comes to a crime, but if the guy doesn’t get help and or punished there will be more victims down the line. He should not be enjoying the game on the sideline right now!

  12. Come on guys, forgiveness and support are 2 different things. There is no need for Josh Brent to be there…..whats the point? We need to hold people accountable for their actions, the man can be sorry for what he did but he should lose his privileges for it. Jerry Jones is a buffoon…..

  13. It’s nice that Brown’s mother has been forgiving, but the guy is still a criminal and responsible for someone’s death due to his criminal behavior. The Cowboys are tone deaf if they don’t see a problem with this.

  14. “For those who disagree. Look to Jerry Brown’s mother. If a grieving mother has the strength to forgive this man…why can’t you?”

    Does Jerry Brown’s mother speak for all the other people that Brent put in mortal danger by deciding to drive drunk? Her son was the one he killed, but it could have just as easily been someone else’s son or daughter … or a whole family.

  15. I don’t like it.

    It shows America the lack of seriousness with which people take Drunk Driving. He’s a repeat offender, and he could have harmed more than just his passenger.

    Celebritities/athletes get passes on this stuff all the time and it sends a terrible message to young people that you have like 2 or 3 free passes. Its probably only accepted by those close to the victim because the behavior was the norm. That doesn’t make it any better.

  16. Forgiveness is one thing, and Brown’s mother is probably using that to help grieve. But there is NO reason to but this criminal and murderer on a stage such as the sidelines of a nationally televised NFL game. If they want him on the sidelines he should wear a sandwich board that says, “I killed my friend because I drove drunk.

  17. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I honestly don’t know how you can justify this, regardless of Jerry Brown’s mother forgiving Brent. As a Cowboys player, how do you look Brent straight in the guy knowing he killed one of your teammates?

  18. To me this sends the wrong message. This is a very serious crime he is being charged with; there is fine line between supporting and enabling, and the Cowboys are walking all over it.

  19. I like the decision. Too many organizations are quick to disassociate themselves with coaches and teammates rather than support them in their time of need.

    If “team” truly means “team,” then I believe the Cowboys should support and help him through this.

  20. I too go with Mrs. Brown. And lets not forget that we still supported Donte Stallworth after his accident. We still supported and followed Leonard Little after his. Is it worse because he killed another football player and not a civilian that us who follow the sport don’t know by name?

    He is gonna live with this shame and grief for the rest of his life. While I don’t condone his actions or want him taken off the hook, if Mrs. brown can find it in her heart to love him and forgive why can’t we, the unaffected, do the same

  21. @ blackandbluedivision

    For those who disagree. Look to Jerry Brown’s mother. If a grieving mother has the strength to forgive this man…why can’t you?

    I concur. I am tired of people constantly wanting not to forgive people for accidents. Yes, he was intoxicated, but it was still an accident. He will have to live with this for the rest of his life. His family will fear suicide every time he is late for something or doesn’t show up. Jerry and the team did this to show the man that they are behind him as they should be – as we all should be because he is a human being and our brother.

    Withholding forgiveness on someone who purposfully creates havoc is totally different, but accidents should be forgiven. If Jerry Brown’s family can forgive, so should all ye who are holier than thou and have opinions about everything.

  22. What happened was tragic and that the mother can forgive so quickly is commendable.
    The support of his employer and fellow players is also commendable.
    He killed a fellow player in an tragic accident that was avoidable (or at least without being drunk, highly unlikely)
    Having him back like he did nothing wrong is not support or forgiveness….its the wrong message.

  23. God bless Ms. Brown for forgiving him. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other though. I don’t not want him on the sidelines because I don’t forgive him – it’s not my place – I don’t want him on the sideline because it’s completely and utterly inappropriate.

    Him being on the sideline doesn’t portray forgiveness it portrays a lack of accountability and young people see too much of that already. Look, kill a man and be back on the sidelines next week.

  24. It would be different if Brent was playing in the game but he was not. If Vick can step on the football field for intentionally killing and torturing animals then Brent can be on the sideline while he waits for the court system to play out.

  25. How could anyone have an issue with this? If this happened to a family member, would they be banned from Thanksgiving/Xmas dinner, a funeral/family reunion, or any other significant family gathering??? Even though the Dallas Cowboys are a billion dollar business entity, those within those locker room walls are a very close-knit family.

  26. If any of you have ever had a loved one killed by a drunk driver you would understand why this man being on the sidelines is a disgrace. And the whole cowboys team should be ashamed.I think it’s great Ms. Brown can forgive him as we all can. but putting him on the sideline in front everyone is where my issue is. it shows no accountability for his actions.

  27. I respect Jerry Brown’s mother’s opinion, but since when is she the spokesperson and moral compass for all of those who have lost a loved one to an irresponsible drunk driver.

    There’s a bigger picture here, and Jones and the Cowboys need to respect them. Brent made yet another horrible decision, and he has to be held accountable. Keep him off the sidelines.

  28. No need to hate on Brent here. I bet that he already does that himself..
    – right way to handle something like this. Instead of pushing him out of the edge, then help and support him so he will be able to put this incident behind him. The Cowboys are showing that they are a real team mentally, and always will be there if their teammates need them.

    Just because one mans life ended in this accident, doesnt mean that the rest of Brents life should go to waste as well. One of his best friends lost his life because of him, that’s punishment enough.

  29. Wells this is the same guy that drafed, signed, and kept drug dealers, wife beaters, etc on his team during the 90’s. This is just Jerry being Jerry. Like others said, if his mother is willing to forgive, why can’t others.

  30. Brent made a terribly costly decision, a decision that he will have to live with FOREVER! In the end, the man who died, due to Brent’s drunk driving, was his friend. Many of us would do almost anything for our friends, some of us consider our friends to ge like family and love them as such. I see no problem with the Cowboys bringing Brent to the sidelines, he is not an active player at this time, but he is a cowboy family member, and families stick together through tough times. Everyone is caught up with the business side of football, but the NFL is not and does not operate like any other business in the world. Yes, tough personnel decisions are made, but most people let go from an NFL organization aren’t dismissed for lack of work ethic. Football players look at the guys they play with like close friends far more than fellow employees.

  31. That’s great the Jerry Brown’s mother forgave him, but the fact remains he drove a car when we was twice over the legal limit and killed a man. Her forgiveness does not excuse his behavior. Regardless of who forgives him, he performed a criminal act that resulted in the death of another human being.

    It was in poor taste to have him on the sideline. There are other ways to support and help him than letting him on the sidelines.

  32. If ray lewis who got off, wink wink, and leonard little who killed someone can come back and play, this guy can certainly stand on the sidelines.

    2 young guys made bad decisions. It sounds like everyone involved has given and accepted foregiveness. He will propbably get off and brown’s family, I’m sure will be compensated greatly by the cowboys to make this disappear.

    Move on people nothing to see here.

  33. Look people…he was on the sidelines supporting his teammates, nothing more. Not playing & gloating or acting like nothing happened. He has serious charges in front of him and a lifetime to replay the accident. Let me ask you clowns this…if you are out on bail and have season tickets to your favorite team will you stay home and watch the game on TV? NO FLIPPING WAY! Shut up and find something else to complain about.

  34. The real lesson here is both men made a bad choice. I have explained to my high school son that the point that is being missed is Mr. Brown didn’t have to get in that car. I feel bad for his family but he made the wrong choice to.

  35. Whether Jones should or shouldn’t have been on the sidelines, is one issue.

    But whatI find truly disgusting – and indicitive that this two-time offender just doesn’t “get” it – is his laughing and joking on the sideline.

    How somebody can kill his best friend and teammate by intentionally getting behind the wheel while THAT drunk, and laugh the very first time he sees the sideline that his friend SHOULD have been on, is beyond me….. I wouldn’t have been able to look those teammates in the eyes.

  36. Someone needs to tell Boomer if his network wouldn’t have kept showing and talking about Brent then most viewers at home wouldn’t have noticed, now who’s fault is that?

  37. He made a mistake that killed his best friend. What good would it do to turn your back on him? He must already feel like crap. Plus, he still has to deal with the legal system.

  38. I have no problem with Brown’s mother forgiving him. I have no problem with the Cowboys team and players forgiving him.

    I do have a problem with them allowing him on the sideline during a game. In a situation like this, they can give all the support they want in private, but to have him walking around on the sidelines, joking with players like nothing has happened is a disgrace.

  39. First of all i think it is ok for a grieving mother or anyone to forgive someone. Having said that i think it is a horrible idea for the Cowboys to have this guy on the sideline, let alone on the team. Brent is a 2 time drunk driving offender, and did not learn a lesson on his first time. He took a life and needs to be held accountable for his actions. Anyone on this blog with a job, would have lost their employment had they done something like this. It should be no different for a professional athlete.

  40. I like all the Judges, Jurors, and Executioners in this forum. Let the legal process play itself out. Brent will more than likely do time. More than Stallworth got. More than Ray Lewis got.
    Boomer Esiesen is and always will be a no-talent clown, both in the huddle and on the screen.

  41. I will leave it to the players…. He is their co-worker… If they wanted him there, he should be there. He will get his day in court, where a judge or jury will decide his fate.

  42. Please… Everyone wants to blame Brent but they were BOTH drunk and anyone who gets into a car with a drunk driver has to accept responsibility for their own actions. They are both to blame…

    Also, 90% of NFL players do this often… just no one dies. I bet the clowns on TV condemning the Cowboys did this a few times in their careers too.

  43. The cowboys are not endorsing his actions, but they are simply following the mother’s wishes and not casting Brent aside. All those players realize that could have been anyone of them who has made the horrible decision to drive drunk.

    He will do prison time during his prime playing years, so his career is over. I don’t know how him being there is such an atrocity.

    This shouldn’t detract from a great game and effort by the cowboys.

  44. We all want to be forgiven and get support when we screw up, yet we want to hold it over other’s heads and have them ostracized when they screw up.

    Brown is going to have to face the music for what he did. His football career is likely over, he’ll probably spend a nice chunk of time on the pea farm, and he’ll also have to live with the fact that he killed his friend due to his own irresponsibility. But friends are friends, family is family, a team is a team and the Cowboys supporting Brown by letting him be on the sideline while he still can is okay with me.

  45. Newsflash: He is going to be going to jail for quite a while. Stop pretending he’s getting off on the charges. The organization is just trying to support him and keep his emotional state intact. You people crying for your pound of flesh will get it soon enough.

  46. Dude made a bad decision. i guarantee 90% of the people responding to this post have driven intoxicated at some point in their lives

    Just because you didn’t kill anyone in the process doesn’t make your decision “better”.

    And to the ones reading this that can honestly say you haven’t engaged in this risky behavior, ask yourself, would you turn your back on a friend that did?

    I see a lot of animosity being thrown around in this post for someone who they’ve never met, much less could relate to. The damage has been done, nothing can ever take it back. The man has killed his best friend, ruined his career, and will likely lose his freedom for an extended period of time based off of one decision.

    His presence on the sideline should be a catalyst to initiate dialogue with friends and family members who you sometimes worry will suffer the same fate.

  47. This is a very unusually mature thing to do. The reflexive response is always to dehumanize the one who’s caused harm, to ostracize and punish, basically to immediately do anything to make them not one of “us”. They become the “other”, the shunned, the defective.

    Especially in a case like this, it’s not a stretch to think that “there but for some luck go I”. A little bad judgment and a little bad luck – who can say this is not part of all of us? What happened is horrible, and some severly bad choices were made along the way, but they’re not alien choices. They’re simple human choices. The kinds of choices we all have the capacity to make, whether we admit it or not.

    I think it’s possible to find such actions “unacceptable” while still recognizing and valuing the human being involved. I don’t think society has figured out how to take this next step, but bizarrely enough, a pro football team has now taken part in that evolution.

  48. Horrible idea …. this is being categorized as an “accident”, but let’s examine the facts

    Already convicted of DUI, repeat offender

    Over twice the legal limit

    Driving at very high speeds, to the point he could not control the vehicle.

    The teammate is tragic, but the callous disregard for society is also inexcusable. Anyone could have been on that road.

  49. “It’s as close to the field that he’ll get for the rest of his life.”

    Maybe not. Leonard Little was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1998 and did 90 days, four years of probation and was suspended 8 games. Then in 2004 he was arrested for DUI again when he failed field sobriety tests and even though he admitted that he had been drinking, he was acquitted of DUI (but the judge gave him two years probation and ordered him to not consume alcohol). Little retired in 2009.

  50. He will not serve one day of jail time I guarantee it. He will get a years suspension from the league just like Donte Stallworth did in a similar accident. Donte did no time!!

  51. Listen to all the hypocrites. I’m guessing a solid 70% of you who are bashing this kid have driven drunk and gotten home safe, so I guess that makes you better than this kid.

    1. They were BOTH drunk and they BOTH made the decision to get into the car which makes them BOTH responsible.

    2. He will be paying for his crime through the legal system.

    So, I take it all you, who are clearly without sin would abandon your friend, family member, co-worker AUTOMATICALLY if they made a mistake, right?

    And to the juddster who says ” but to put him on national tv like he is some kind of martyr is lower than a snake’s belly and I guess we shouldn’t be surprised as Jerrah is quite familiar with a snake’s belly”

    It wasn’t the Cowboys organization who put him on national TV, it was CBS who made the choice to point him out, so if you have a problem, I assume you will be boycotting CBS.

  52. This is a tough call? To who and why? The harsh reality of this is that it’s none of our business at the end of the day. Why in this day and age does everyone think that the public has to have a strong opinion or make a decision on something?

    Twitter and Facebook have made our society out of control. Now everyone thinks they have to get on a soap box and throw an opinion out there about everything that happens in the world for everyone to see. When in reality who cares what we think? Only Mrs. Brown and the family should have an opinion on all of this. Period.

  53. Brown would have been equally liable if the car happened to land on a family of 5 and killed them as well. Both players were reckless and equally responsible for Brown’s unfortunate death. And Brown’s mother has every right to forgive. But the NFL should not support such reckless behavior by having him on the sidelines.

  54. I agree, why is no one pointing out CBS showing Him on the sideline 8 times during the first half? They kept showing Him over and over! I am mad at the player for doing what He did. He will be paying for it the rest of His life. But, back off people! If the family had a problem with it I would be more in agreement He shouldnt be there. Browns Mom asked them to take care of Brent and to help Him. If He wasnt hurt the NFLPA would be saying He should be able to play.

  55. His team and teammates are part of his support group. Who are we to pass judgement on them for supporting him. If it was a family member or close friend of any of us we would do the same. The courts will decide his fate for his poor decision making. Get down off your pedestals people. If Jerry Brown’s mother can find it in her heart to support him in spite of what happened then leave it be.

  56. Kudos to Boomer for having the courage to call out the Cowboys for this outrage. It’s time to stop coddling these supposed “men” and have them nseratand there are societal consequences to the choices they make. Smiling and joking on the sidelines – does he have no remorse or conscious? The Saints bounty players were suspended w/o pay – reprehensible behavior, but they weren’t responsible for the loss of someone’s life. Quickly losing respect for the NFL.

  57. Tough call indeed. On the one hand, I understand Boomer’s reaction. But at the same time, I understand why the Cowboys wanted him on the sideline. My only hope is that this permanently sobers him up and makes him think twice about his actions.

  58. Really poor judgement again from Jerry. You can support a player in the media, but to put him on national television after this tragic event is just plain stupid. But, Jerry is Jerry.

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