GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 07: Josh Brent of the Dallas Cowboys sits on the bench during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 7, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Josh Brent‘s presence on the Cowboys’ sideline Sunday took some fans by surprise, but owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett are standing by the team’s decision.
Brent, who is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge following the accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown on Dec. 8, was released on $500,000 bail. The Cowboys tackle has since been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, but he was on the sideline in street clothes during Sunday’s victory over the Steelers.
“Our team and our players wanted him today on the sideline,” Jones said Sunday, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Jerry’s mother [Stacey Jackson] 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.”
Brown’s mother has stated that she forgives Brent for the unfortunate accident, during which Brent was found to be legally drunk. But despite that fact and the Cowboys standing behind their teammate, there are some, including CBS analyst and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who feel that Brent should not have been allowed on the sideline.
Garrett also defended the decision Sunday, and pointed to Jackson’s wishes.
“What we wanted to do as an organization was support Jerry Brown’s mom’s wishes,” Garrett said. “The players encouraged Josh to be there, a number of phone calls, ‘You’re coming to the game.’ That’s just our guys understanding the situation, understanding Stacey Jackson’s wishes for Josh. She considers Josh a son and she loves him very much. We love him very much and we’re going to try and support him every way that we can.”
Brent draped Brown’s No. 53 jersey over his shoulder during the moment of silence and national anthem prior to Sunday’s game.