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)
As most of you know by now, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was allowed on the team’s sideline during Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter in a car crash that killed his teammate Jerry Brown two weeks ago. According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the NFL and the Cowboys agreed on Tuesday that Brent will no longer be allowed on the sideline during games.
The problem is the message has already been sent. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett said they were unaware that Brent would be on the sideline on Sunday, but that his teammates insisted he be there at the wishes of Brown’s mother. Jones then defended Brent’s presence before apparently agreeing with the league that it was inappropriate.
Even if he came reluctantly and none of the Cowboys brass knew he would be there, having Brent on the sideline was a complete disgrace. I’m not saying Brent doesn’t feel remorse for allegedly making an incredibly irresponsible decision to drive drunk, but showing him smiling with his teammates on national television sends a horrible message — especially to children who view NFL players as role models.
Brent’s blood alcohol was reportedly twice the legal limit. Instead of paying for a taxi or using one of the many car services NFL teams provide, he chose to get behind the wheel. Because of his lapse in judgment, a teammate is dead. If the Cowboys want to continue to support him behind closed doors, that’s their prerogative. Doing so in front of a national television audience was a regrettable decision.