Cowboys’ Josh Brent dedicates NFL career to teammate whose death he caused
Josh Brent spoke to the media for the first time since the Dallas Cowboys signed him to a one-year contract extension last week. It was also the first time he spoke publicly since he was convicted in January for intoxication manslaughter for a December 2012 car accident in which his teammate Jerry Brown was killed.
The defensive tackle said in the brief, three-minute session with the media that he’s playing football for one reason and one reason only: Jerry Brown.
“Honestly, to make sure Jerry’s name does not die in vain,” Brent said on Wednesday, per an Associated Press report, via ESPN.com, before a Cowboys spokesperson ended the session.
“Jerry was a great person, a great player and had a bright future. A mistake that I made took that away from him, took that away from his daughter, took that away from his mother, so that’s something that I make sure I keep, make sure I’m conscious of that — never let his name die in vain.”
Brent did not serve any time in prison for the conviction, receiving an 180-day jail sentence and 10 years probation. He reportedly spent the last 45 days of his jail sentence in a rehabilitation facility over the summer.
Brent’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when he crashed his Mercedes while speeding in a Dallas suburb. Brown was in the passenger seat when the accident occurred.
The Cowboys activated Brent on Tuesday, one day after he was eligible to return to the NFL after the league reinstated him in September and suspended him for the first 10 games. He is eligible to return to the field for the Cowboys’ Nov. 23 game against the New York Giants.
Brent is grateful for the second chance at pursuing an NFL career — he retired in 2013 while awaiting trial — and hopes he can make the most of it while devoting his career to his slain friend.
“I’m a very blessed person to be able to be in this position I am now,” Brent said. “I’m just thankful that the commissioner, the Jones family and the Cowboys organization have allowed me to come back and be a part of this team.
“It’s been very difficult. It’s something that there’s not an exact formula of how to be successful with this. It’s just something I take daily and try to do the best I can.”
While a second opportunity clearly means a lot to Brent, the accident that caused his friend’s death — and his responsibility for it — never strays far from his thoughts.
“It’s something that I’ve learned from, something I’ll always remember every day of my life,” Brent said. “I miss Jerry. That was my best friend, and to know that he’s not here because of a mistake that I made, that could have been prevented, hurts me every day.
“So it’s something once again I take day by day and keep it conscious on the forefront of my mind.”