One week after being arrested for intoxication manslaughter following a single-car accident on Dec. 8 that claimed the life of teammate Jerry Brown, defensive tackle Josh Brent made a surprising appearance on the Dallas Cowboys' sidelines during their 27-24 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Brent, who is on the team's "Reserve/Non-Football Injury" list, will not be permitted on the Cowboys' sidelines for the remainder of the season.
Though the team has pledged to support Brent, his appearance on the sidelines was a surprise and had team or league officials known about it ahead of time, they likely would have blocked it from taking place as the team was unveiling "No. 53" decals on the back of their helmets to honor Brown. Werder reports the appearance was planned and organized by several of his teammates, who had to encourage the reluctant Brent to attend. Werder adds that once Brent learned that his presence was causing a stir on the national level, he exited the stadium in the third quarter.
"It becomes a real sensitive topic to a lot of people when you're in a public place like the game," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said on Monday. "There were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team. This is a game and you need to be here. That's what our players wanted to convey to him and they really encouraged him to come to the game. I thought Josh handled it beautifully the way that he came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave. But we're going to support him in every way that we can. We also will be sensitive to this kind of issue."
In other Brent news, the Dallas Morning News reports that on Tuesday, a judge reduced Brent's bail from $500,000 to $100,000 and ordered him not to consume alcohol or drive. A SCRAM ankle monitor was also attached to Brent's leg.
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- Ed Werder