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December 10, 2012

Cowboys involved in fatal wreck were friends

IRVING, Texas — Josh Brent and Jerry Brown met in college, forming a close, unshakeable bond. Having realized his NFL dream, Brent was trying to help his roommate do the same.

But Brent wasn’t starting on Dallas’ defensive line when the Cowboys kicked off in Cincinnati on Sunday. He was in jail, accused of driving drunk and causing a fatal accident that killed Brown, an expectant father who had just landed a spot on the Cowboys practice squad.

About an hour after the grieving Cowboys secured an emotional 20-19 victory over the Bengals on the final play, a barefooted Brent walked slowly out of the jail in the Dallas suburb of Irving after his release on $500,000 bond. Surrounded by camera crews and reporters, Brent had several patches of missing hair and a bandage wrapped about his right hand.

“Jerry Brown was my very best friend, and I’m just trying to deal with his death right now,” Brent said, stopping briefly when asked if he had anything to say to Brown’s family. He didn’t answer any other questions.

Brent, a 6-foot-5-inch, 320-pound nose guard, was arrested at the scene of the accident Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a charge upped to intoxication manslaughter after the 25-year-old Brown died.

Attorney George Milner complained that Brent’s bond was set “16 times higher than it would have been for anybody that doesn’t play for the Dallas Cowboys.”

“He is torn up,” Milner said. “It’s not a good moment for anyone. I’m going to take him home. He needs family around him.”

Brown had promised his family that he would play professional football full time, his grandmother said.

“He lived for football,” Theresa Clark, 63, of St. Louis, told The Associated Press on Sunday. “He loved it with all his heart.”

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