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Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Brown, who lost his life in car crash, had a northern impact

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Jerry Brown (99), seen during his Illinois career, died Saturday.

The tragic news of the death of Dallas Cowboys' linebacker Jerry Brown in a car crash Saturday morning (teammate Josh Brent was reportedly driving and has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, which as Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel writes, may be further evidence of the NFL's DUI problem) is resonating north of the border as well. Brown, a 25-year-old who was on the Cowboys' practice squad, pursued his football dream through a variety of unconventional stops, and one of those was in Canada. Following a successful stint in arena football, he was with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats for part of the  2011 season. Brown's Hamilton tenure wasn't long, as he was with the team for less than a month, but he clearly made a significant impression during his time there and is remembered by many. In particular, Tiger-Cats' director of football administration and community relations Shawn Burke tweeted Saturday that the news of Brown's death was tough to take:

Brown played on the defensive line at the University of Illinois, but at 6'4'' and 253 pounds, was seen as undersized for that position in the NFL. That didn't stop his football dreams, though; he went to the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League, where he was crucial to their victory in the August 2011 Arena Bowl. Following that, he signed with the Tiger-Cats as a practice-roster player on September 27, 2011. He didn't last long with the team, as quick practice roster turnover is extremely common in the CFL, and he was released on October 18 of that year. He obviously made an impression on Burke and others during that time, though. Brown kept on with his football dream despite the odds, returning to arena football earlier this year with the San Antonio Talons. That led to a stint with the Indianapolis Colts and then his tenure with the Cowboys. Seeing his remarkable story end this way is truly tragic.

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