SBD/December 10, 2012/Franchises

Cowboys Could Mandate Electronic Alcohol Detection Devices For Players' Vehicles

Hill is considering a device that immobilizes a vehicle if the driver is impaired
Cowboys player development consultant Calvin Hill in the wake of DT Josh Brent's alcohol-related car accident that killed teammate LB Jerry Brown said that the team “could mandate that Cowboys players have electronic devices designed to immobilize vehicles when a driver is impaired,” according to Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY. The device includes a “small fob that is attached to the key ring, which sends electronic signals to a complementary device that can prevent a vehicle from starting if a driver doesn't pass a test based on color-coded light emissions.” Hill said, "We are considering that." Bell writes it is unclear whether the NFLPA would “sign off on allowing teams to mandate such a measure for players." Hill yesterday said of the team's educational programs, "Obviously, we do whatever we can do. I don't know what more we can do. We're always examining and going over things" (USA TODAY, 12/10). Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said that he has “been in contact with Brown’s mother and that plans have been made to hold a memorial service for him” tomorrow. Jones also “pledged support for Brent.” Jones: “It’s so mind-boggling to think that two lives could be impacted under those circumstances” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/10). Jones during Fox’ pregame show yesterday said, “Well for the last few hours our focus has been on Jerry Brown. Our team loved him. They certainly are conscious of him and want his family to know and have as much of them as they can give. At the same time, they know that one of the best things they can do for him and his memory is to come to the game today, is go out and play well” (CINCINNATI.com, 12/9).

REMEMBERING A FRIEND: In Dallas, David Moore reports the Cowboys honored Brown by placing his jersey “on the Cowboys sidelines and in their locker room Sunday.” Cowboys QB Tony Romo said, “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do or feel or whatever. It’s a hard, hard situation. There is no playbook for this sort of thing" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/10). In Cincinnati, Kevin Goheen notes Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s postgame press conference “began with a six-minute opening statement regarding the situation, including what he said to the team during its Saturday night meeting.” Garrett during the postgame press conference said, “I talked about how football is very different than life. I made it clear that this is a life situation, and we lost a 25-year-old young man who had his whole life in front of him. He was a teammate and a friend" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/10). In San Antonio, Buck Harvey notes Garrett “completed what might have been his best weekend” as Cowboys coach (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 12/10).

HANDLE WITH CARE: In Ft. Worth, Carlos Mendez noted Saturday’s occurrence meant the Cowboys had to come up “with a way to let the players know what happened while also not revealing news of Brown’s death before his family was notified.” The organization at about 9:15am CT was “informed of the accident, the players involved and what happened.” They were told that Irving, Texas, police were “trying to locate Brown’s mother to notify her of the news.” The team at 1:30pm was “assembled on its charter to Cincinnati.” Non-football personnel were “asked to step off for a few minutes,” and Garrett informed the players of Brown's death. Cowboys VP/PR & Communications Rich Dalrymple said that the team “waited to tell the players because it didn't want Brown’s mother finding out the news from media reports.” The Cowboys “put out a statement from owner Jerry Jones about 30 minutes later” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 12/8).

CHIEF CONCERNS: In K.C., Randy Covitz wrote after the murder-suicide of Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher, a "dilemma hovers over the franchise.” Covitz: “How does one separate sympathy for [coach Romeo] Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli … from the frustration of a miserable season on the field?” Chiefs fans are “demanding a housecleaning,” and they “want changes in the front office, coaching staff and at quarterback.” But Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt “hadn’t shown any indication that changes were coming soon, or at all.” The timing for making a change now “would be grossly insensitive, considering what Crennel, Pioli and the team have gone through.” It is even possible “that the manner in which Pioli and Crennel comported themselves in the eye of danger -- and the way they comforted a fragile team in the aftermath -- will convince Hunt to stay the course despite a 2-14 or 4-12 season.” Crennel has two more years left on his contract, "which may give him some security,” while it is believed that Pioli has “one more year remaining on his original five-year contract” (K.C. STAR, 12/8).
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