DALLAS – Jason Garrett gave the Dallas Cowboys a day off after his players somehow pulled off a win in Cincinnati while reeling from a one-car accident that killed one teammate and landed another in jail.
Many players showed up at team headquarters anyway and there was Josh Brent, the defensive tackle who missed the trip after police say he was driving drunk and caused the wreck that killed linebacker Jerry Brown, his close friend and roommate.
And Brent was back with his teammates again Tuesday for a private memorial honoring Brown. Players and team officials left without talking to reporters after the hour-long service on a chilly afternoon at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, but Garrett had made it clear that Brent was still a part of the Cowboys family.
“We’re going to support Josh 100 percent in every way that we can,” Garrett said Monday, a day after the Cowboys beat the Bengals 20-19 with a field goal on the final play to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Brent arrived at the service earlier than most of the Cowboys players, team executives and staff members. He was in a van with several other people and could be seen hugging Brown’s mother before walking into the building. Brent was one of the last to leave, too. He grew close to Brown during three seasons together at the University of Illinois, and took in Brown when the Cowboys added the 25-year-old to the roster in October.
“It’s a really, really difficult situation for him,” Garrett said. “We want to help him get through this thing day by day.”