Cowboy charged after player dies in car crash

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was jailed Saturday in Irving, Texas, on a charge of intoxication manslaughter as the driver in a car accident that killed practice squad member Jerry Brown earlier in the morning.

An Irving police spokesman said officers arrived on the scene of the accident at 2:21 a.m. to find Brent dragging Brown from his 2007 Mercedes, which had flipped and was on fire.

Brown was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Brent, already
under arrest on a charge of driving while intoxicated, was charged with
intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

The report issued by Irving Police said that Brent, referred to as
Joshua Price-Brent, was traveling at a high rate of speed on State
Highway 114 when his car struck the outside curb. The vehicle flipped at
least one time before coming to rest in the middle of the service road.

Officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent, who was then
transported to an area hospital for a mandatory blood draw. The results
of the test may not be known for several weeks, the police spokesman
said.

“The officers were able to determine, based on the objective symptoms that he [Brent] was displaying, that they felt as if alcohol was a factor,” public information officer John Argumaniz said.

Brent and Brown were also teammates at the University of Illinois. While in college, Brent was sentenced to 60 days in jail and probation for drunken driving.

Cowboys players were informed of Brown’s death and Brent’s arrest as they sat on the team charter waiting to take off for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati.

The pilot requested all passengers other than players and coaches leave the plane temporarily, then head coach Jason Garrett delivered the news.

Ty Walker, a reporter from KTCK-AM 1310, was on the charter and described the scene in a series of posts on his Twitter account. Walker tweeted that “the mood has changed entirely,” and that the players were “completely quiet.” Walker also tweeted that everyone was asked to turn off all off all electronic devices, which he indicated was a very rare request on the team’s plane.

Coincidentally, cornerback Brandon Carr was not on the flight because he was attending the funeral of former Kansas City Chiefs teammate Jovan Belcher, who just a week earlier committed suicide after murdering his girlfriend.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a statement shortly after the news broke:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown,” 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 and loved him.”

After the Cowboys charter landed in Cincinnati, KTVT-CBS 11 reporter Steve Dennis tweeted that there was a “strong feeling of sadness” as the Cowboys tried to go about their usual routine.

Brown, 25, was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free-agent linebacker and was activated for one game this season. He was signed to the Cowboys’ practice squad in October. Brown had also played in Canada and in arena leagues.

According to a recent Facebook posting attributed to Brown, he apparently was about to become a father.

Brent, 24, was drafted by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2010 Supplemental Draft. He has been with the team for three seasons and started five games this year, recording 13 tackles, nine assists and 1.5 sacks.

Last Sunday, Brent caused a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by teammate Morris Claiborne in a 38-33 win over Philadelphia.

Brent was booked into the Irving City Jail and remained there as of Saturday afternoon. As a second-degree felony, the charge of intoxication manslaughter carries a sentence of two to 20 years and a $10,000 fine.

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire