According to the Dallas Morning News, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Joshua Brent has been arrested and charged with intoxicated vehicular manslaughter by the Irving Police Department following an accident on East State Highway 114 early Saturday morning that claimed the life of Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown.
Brent and Brown were teammates at the University of Illinois.
According to the report, Brent was traveling at a high rate of speed when his vehicle "hit the outside curb", causing it to flip over and come to rest in the middle of the road. Brent was given a field sobriety test, which he failed, and had blood drawn at a local hospital before booked on the second-degree felony by the Irving PD. Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reported that Brent was trying to drag Brown from the burning car when the police arrived on scene.
Brown was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Sadly, this isn't the first time Brent has run afoul of the law in this kind of circumstance. The Associated Press reports that Brent was arrested in February of 2009 near the Illinois campus for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and speeding. Nobody was hurt in that case. Brent was also sentenced to two years probation, 200 hours of community service, and a fine of about $2,000. Per his plea deal, prosecutors dropped the aggravated DUI/no valid driver's license charge.
According to the AP, court records show that Brent completed his probation in July, 2011.
The Cowboys have issued the following statement (via ESPN Dallas):
"We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "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."
Brown, 25, went undrafted in 2011 and began his professional career in the arena league before playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Brown went to training camp in 2012 with the Indianapolis Colts and posted 10 tackles before he was waived and re-signed to the practice squad. Brown appeared in one game for the Colts, logging 11 special teams plays in a 35-9 loss to the New York Jets.
The Colts would waive Brown the following week and re-sign him to their practice squad. One week later, Brown's practice squad was terminated and he was signed by the Cowboys.
Colts general manager Ryan Grigson also issued a statement:
"On behalf of the entire Colts family, our sincerest condolences go out to Jerry's family and friends. He was a good teammate that was well liked by all. Today's tragic news is just another reminder of how fragile life is and how every day given is a gift."
Brent entered the NFL in 2010 when the Cowboys selected him in the seventh round of the 2010 Supplemental Draft. Brent served time in jail for misdemeanor DUI while a student-athlete at Illinois.
The 6-foot-2, 320-pound nose tackle totaled 16 tackles while playing in just under 25 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps in 2010, but was limited to 11 games and 13 percent of the defensive snaps in 2011. With starting nose tackle Jay Ratliff battling injuries throughout the season, Brent has started five of 12 games and played in over 41 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps, setting career-highs with 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
In an unrelated transaction, the Cowboys added defensive tackle Rob Callaway to the 53-man roster, placing cornerback Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve.