SBD/December 19, 2012/Franchises

Sources: Cowboys DT Josh Brent Barred From Sideline For Remainder Of Season

Brent left Cowboys Stadium after realizing TV analysts were discussing his presence
Cowboys DT Josh Brent “will not be permitted” to be on the team's sideline during NFL games “for the remainder of the season,” according to sources cited by Ed Werder of ESPN.com. The Cowboys and NFL officials were “unaware” that Brent, who was charged with intoxication manslaughter two weeks ago after the death of LB Jerry Brown, would be on the sideline for last Sunday's home game against the Steelers. Sources said that the team and the league “agree that it was not appropriate.” Werder noted several of Brent's teammates “urged him to attend Sunday's game.” The game already had begun when Cowboys coach Jason Garrett “realized Brent was on the sideline," and Owner Jerry Jones "didn't know until he saw Brent on television.” Once Brent became aware that his presence "was sparking a national debate, he left Cowboys Stadium in the third quarter” (ESPN.com, 12/18). ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano wrote having Brent “stand there with his teammates for those three nationally televised hours, as though he were on injured reserve with a shoulder injury or something like that, sent the wrong message about the seriousness with which the Cowboys were treating Brent's situation.” However, “no one did anything horribly wrong here.” The Cowboys' players “aren't PR executives in charge of considering the way a move like this will be perceived nationally” (ESPN.com, 12/18). CBS Sports Network’s Doug Gottlieb said, “There are things as an organization you have to have class, and someone needs to grab Josh Brent before that game, on national TV, and say, ‘Hey man, we love you, we want you to be a part of things no matter what happens but we can’t have you on the sideline. It doesn’t look good’” (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 12/18).

DON'T BE CRUEL: CBSSPORTS.com’s Gregg Doyel wrote under the header, “Brent Deserves Prison, But Getting Banned From Sideline Is Cruel.” Doyel: “I hear the ‘it sends the wrong message’ argument, but think it through. If Josh Brent were on the sideline again Sunday, people would be talking about his story -- which means talking about the dangers of drunk driving. That's a conversation that can save lives” (CBSSPORTS.com, 12/18).
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