IRVING, Texas – Although Josh Brent won’t play for the Dallas Cowboys again this season, he remains part of a franchise that continues to support him.
The 24-year-old nose tackle was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list Wednesday, four days after getting into a car accident that killed Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown, Brent’s good friend and passenger in the vehicle. Brent was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter and released the following day after posting a $500,000 bond. If convicted, Brent faces up to 20 years in prison.
After Wednesday’s practice, several Cowboys discussed their support for Brent, someone they view as a brother.
“You’ve just got to be there for your brother in a time of need,” said fullback Lawrence Vickers, standing next to Brent’s locker.
On Tuesday, Brent joined his Cowboys teammates at a memorial service for Brown. As players left the service in Dallas, they lined up and hugged Brent.
“He needed it,” defensive end Jason Hatcher said. “It’s easy in that situation to feel alone. He’s got brothers around him. He’s got guys that care about him on this team that are not just there for the media. We actually hugged his neck as a brother. I hugged him as my little brother. That is the way I feel about him. I say it again. I love him with all my heart.
“I will do anything in the world to help him out during this process and I will. I’m going to be at his house. He is going to get tired of seeing me cause I’m going to be there to support him.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has talked several times over the last few days about how the Cowboys will continue to back Brent in any way possible. On Wednesday, a reporter asked Garrett if he fears that supporting Brent sends a message that the organization condones what he is accused of doing.
“We have no fear of that,” Garrett responded. “Josh is part of our family. We have unconditional love for him. And we’re going to make sure that we support him in every way we can. Players, coaches, our organization, and make him feel that support in every way.”