Cowboys Bias Makes Media Miss the Mark in Josh Brent Coverage

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Brent’s a wreck. He was never going to play this year. Even if he could, the courts were going to send him to jail, or the league was going to suspend him. His retirement makes the point moot, but Brent was always bound to be released if he didn’t retire; likely the Cowboys were waiting until the moment when it would do the least amount of damage to an already broken psyche.

Far from deserving our scorn, what the Cowboys did in keeping Brent was admirable: It was like the band playing as the Titanic sank – a doomed, but sweetly stoic gesture of support in the face of cold, unavoidable reality. So with no chance whatsoever of Brent making the Cowboys 53-man roster, why the outrage from the expert class? The answer is simple: Expert media dogma.

What if Patriots owner Robert Craft had done the exact same thing under the exact same circumstances? The experts would be swooning, and we’d be sick with stories reverently extolling the human element of “The Patriot Way.” But that’s expert dogma: Craft good; Jerry bad. The facts conform to the dogma, and the story writes itself.

June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talks during a press conference after minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

For the experts in the national press, literally everything that has anything to do with the Cowboys eventually circles back to Jerry Jones, and is shaped by what has become a reflexive compulsion to sneer at every decision he makes. After 24 years of Jerry, the experts just don’t know how else to cover the Cowboys.

With criticism of the organization growing, one suspects retirement was Brent’s gift to Jerry for showing a steadfast support that he likely doesn’t feel he deserves. By deed, the Cowboys showed a young man who ripped his world apart with one tragic mistake that he is still valued. If that message can somehow penetrate the massive guilt and bitter self loathing – not to mention the self righteous noise from the experts – one life may yet be salvaged from this sad experience.

Josh Brent hates himself. You would, too. For the amount of good it might have done the young man, a temporary, offseason roster spot as a symbol of support hardly seems worth all the fuss. The media’s myopic take on this story makes them look small, cold and petty. Too bad for them Brent wasn’t a Patriot – they might have got the story right.

Lucky for Brent, and his long odds of ever healing, he was a Cowboy.

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  • Ronald W. Jones

    I have NO sympathy for Josh Brent, especially when he has made the same BAD decisions in the past.(in Illinois) and was given another chance. In the end, he got one too many chances and it cost Brown his life. I’ve made BAD decisions in my life, but NONE have ever led up to the death of a friend, or anyone for that matter. There are consequences for that BAD decision Brent made that night….and Brent should face them for a change.

    • John

      Brent is going to face them. Everyday for the rest of his life. I never suggested he shouldn’t. I can only speak for myself, but I was 25 once, and I was an idiot from time to time. My heart goes out to everyone involved in this whole sad experience. I don’t think a temporary offseason roster spot was worth all that fuss, and I think the way the media played it made them look small.

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    Unless you have had your head in the sand for the past 15+ years you would know that Jerry Jones has earned every bit of the criticism he receives from the media. And in regard to Josh Brent, it is difficult to feel sympathy for a man who constantly makes bad decisions. This one cost Brent dearly but what about the person who was killed and his family? Yet when the media expresses their dislike for the Cowboy’s handling of the matter it is labeled as bias? Jerry Jones dropped the ball on this one period.

    • John

      I hear what you’re saying about Jerry, and I don’t disagree that he’s earned some fair criticism, but his personnel decisions since the season-ending blow-out loss to Philadelphia in 2008 have been pretty solid. No one really notices because of what happened the 20 years prior. I won’t argue the dogma isn’t earned; I’m just saying it’s lazy, ’cause Jerry’s been a different kind of GM these past four years. Admit this much, you know that story is covered differently if Brent is a Patriot…

      • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

        Yes I agree. The story would most likely have been handled differently if Josh had been a Patriot. The fact is, he wasn’t.

    • Jaikman

      You probably watch MSNBC too? You need to think for yourself once in a while, that was a good article. Stop watching NFL Network and soaking up the rubbish they sell!

  • JoeDaBeast

    “Josh Brent hates himself. You would, too.”
    I would have hated myself so much, I would have probably failed TWO drug tests too! It makes me wonder how much “illegal” activity they had done together and never got caught.