Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/8/12
CINCINNATI I boarded the Cowboys' chartered plane bound for Cincinnati just after noon in Dallas with the knowledge that the club had assembled players for an early-Saturday meeting to inform them of what I knew to be an "incident" involving what I was told was "a practice-squad player and a part-time defensive starter." Josh Brent -- who was scheduled to start for the Cowboys in Sunday's game against the Bengals -- was listed on the flight manifest with assigned seat 27F. But as I boarded, Brent was not in his seat and would not be in his seat as a result of the tragic circumstances involving the death of practice-squad newcomer Jerry Brown Jr. and the intoxication-manslaughter arrest of Brent. Brent was arrested at 4:14 a.m. after the 2:20 a.m. one-car accident in Irving, Texas, in which Brent flipped his 2007 Mercedes after reportedly hitting a curb at a high speed. Irving police say they came upon the scene and found Brent, 24 and a third-year pro, attempting to drag Brown, 25, from the burning car. The pair, teammates at the University of Illinois, joined a dozen teammates who apparently spent Friday night at Privae, a Dallas club where comedian Damon Wayans was appearing. I joined other non-team staffers in being asked to leave the plane before takeoff -- an unprecedented scene for us as the Cowboys conducted a second team meeting just after noon aboard the team charter at DFW Airport. Non-team employees deplaned for about 10 minutes as players and coaches remained on the aircraft. Also on the plane were Cowboys staffers with expertise in counseling and backgrounds in law enforcement. News gathering began: Brent's absence. The way he and Brown fit the profiles of those in my "incident" information. Their college association. Why is cornerback Brandon Carr not aboard? (His excused absence was unrelated; Carr was attending Jovan Belcher's funeral, the Kansas City LB who took his own life after murdering his girlfriend last weekend, and will join the club in Cincinnati.) And then some official word, as police say they determined at the scene that Brent was the driver of the vehicle and that he failed a sobriety test. Brown was found unresponsive at the scene and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The plane ride was a joyless one. While our media section of the plane buzzed with the chase for more information, the coaches' and players' sections were silent. One team staffer with an expertise in psychology moved from first class (coaches) to the rear section (players) and engaged in small-group conversation. Those whispers were all that broke the somber emptiness. The same mood continued at the team hotel, where on Saturday night we all trudged into the Hilton, the Cowboys going about their business preparing for Sunday's game against the Bengals, the rest of us in no mood to visit Skyline Chili or watch the Heisman Trophy telecast. The club says there is no press conference scheduled and that seems prudent. What, exactly, would we like Brent's buddies like classy veteran defensive lineman Jason Hatcher to say? Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a statement saying he is "saddened by news of the incident and the passing of Jerry Brown. At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry's family and all of those who knew him and loved him. Brent was selected in the 2010 NFL Supplemental Draft after leaving the Illinois as a junior. He's been effective this year for the Cowboys while playing in place of the injured former Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff. Brent, generally a happy-go-lucky presence in the Cowboys locker room at Valley Ranch, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI in college. The Cowboys signed Brown to their practice squad on Oct. 24; he was not well-known to most of his teammates, but is being mourned by all of them. "Split-second decisions smh," tweeted Cowboys safety Barry Church, before adding an hour later, "Please keep Jerry B and Josh B in your prayers."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Redskins' Jay Gruden throws tremendous praise Carson Wentz's way

Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as manager

Former Cowboys exec: Dak Prescott won't ever be as good as Carson Wentz

Jameis Winston will be full participant in Friday's practice

Tennessee grocery store calls for Butch Jones' firing with amazing cake

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Giants owner: McAdoo was not pressured to give up play-calling

Report: Red Sox to name Alex Cora manager after ALCS

The New York Yankees have taken complete control

Cam Newton skips press conference, but why?

Green unlikely to play Friday, but knee MRI came back clean

Tyson says he hated ‘Punch-Out’ when it first came out

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

The 'Sure do hope you have a backup plan in place' quiz

Cowboys News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker