Garrett on Brent being on Cowboys’ sideline

IRVING, Texas – Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Josh Brent left Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers because he didn’t want to be a distraction.

Brent, who was charged with intoxication manslaughter on Dec. 8 after a car he was driving flipped and killed his teammate Jerry Brown, was criticized for being on the Cowboys sideline during their 27-24 overtime victory.

According to Garrett, Brent was invited by several of his teammates. Since he’s on the non-football illness list, Brent is allowed to be a spectator on the sideline.

“I thought Josh handled it beautifully,” Garrett said Monday. “He came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave.”

Garrett declined to give a definitive answer on if Brent will be allowed on the Cowboys sideline in the future, but he also doesn’t want outsiders to receive the wrong message.

“The important thing is the idea that we really, really want to support him,” Garrett said. “I don’t stand up here, and nobody in this organization stands up here, and says, ‘We condone drunk driving.’ That’s not what we’re saying. We’re supporting a member of our family who really made a mistake, and made a mistake he’s going to have to live with for the rest of his life and we want to help him in way that we can to get through this and support him.”

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota