What was thought to be a simple missed flight by one of their players this morning turned tragic as the day continued for the Dallas Cowboys. According to the Irving Police Department, Cowboy defensive tackle Josh Prince-Brent was allegedly driving while intoxicated on State Highway 114 around 2:00 a.m. While speeding, Brent suddenly hit the curb and flipped his 2007 Mercedes S60, killing his passenger, practice squad and college teammate, defensive end Jerry Brown.
When police arrived at the accident, Brent was dragging Brown’s body from the burning wreckage. Brown was unresponsive on the scene and taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. It is unknown if either man was wearing their seat-belts.
Brent, who suffered only minor scrapes from the accident, was then arrested after failing a sobriety test. He was booked on one count of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony charge. His bond hearing is set for Sunday morning (It was set at $500,000). If convicted, the second-degree felony charge could land Brent between two to twenty years in prison.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the two men were college teammates at the University of Illinois. And when they became NFL teammates, they decided to live together in Dallas.
Late Saturday night, Brent issued a statement through his agent. it reads:
“I am devastated and filled with grief. Filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and team mate, Jerry Brown. I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him. I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. My prayers are with his family, our teammates and his friends at this time.”
Twitter timelines began to explode this morning with news of two Dallas Cowboy defensive member or members possibly missing the flight to Cincinnati for tomorrows game. Not long after the Cowboys placed cornerback Orlando Scandrick to injured reserve, in order to promote nose tackle Robert Callaway from the practice squad, rumors began to spread that Brent had violated a team rule of some sort. The news was more tragic then expected.
Brent had recently been playing full time on the defensive side of the ball in place of an injured Jay Ratliff. He had started five games this season and most likely was the intended starter for this Sunday’s match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals. Brent was responsible for the force fumble by Philadelphia Eagles ‘running back Bryce Brown last week that lead to Morris Claiborne’s first defensive touchdown. This was his best season in his four year career.
Many will remember that the Cowboys originally selected Brent in the seventh round of the NFL supplemental draft in 2009. He entered the NFL’s supplemental draft after being indefinitely suspended by Illinois head coach Ron Zook which stemmed from Brent’s arrest for misdemeanor DUI on February 21st, 2009 while also driving on a suspended license. Brent was then sentenced to 60 days in prison, community service and probation.
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones released this statement:
“We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown. At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry’s family and all of those who knew him and loved him.”
Brown was signed to the Cowboy practice squad earlier this season. He was an undrafted free agent who was released by the Indianapolis Colts at the end of August. Brown played one game for the Cowboys in Week Six against the New York Jets before being demoted back down to the practice squad.
Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Chris Clemons tweeted:
“One phone call could have prevented this tragedy. It’s never the one driving that loses there life literally. Condolences to Jerry family.. “