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December 09, 2012

Cowboys dedicate game to Jerry Brown, will award his mother the game ball

The Cowboys played with heavy hearts Sunday, but they honored the memory of Jerry Brown the best way they knew how: They won the game for him.

Brown, 25, was killed in a single-car wreck early Saturday morning. Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who was driving, was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter.

Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware celebrated with Brown's No. 53 jersey after the 20-19 victory, holding it toward the sky. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett called Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson. They will award the game ball to Jackson.

"Jerry was, in the short time he was here, he was loved by his teammates," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "They were real close, especially that area of our team was very close, the defensive linemen. It’s been quite a situation of grieving. Today’s game was a respite to take their minds off something a lot more important, and that’s the gone life of Jerry Brown."

Players said it was emotional in the locker room after the game, with tears shed and hugs shared. Some players, including Hatcher, Ware and Sean Lissemore, still were too distraught to talk to the media.

“It’s a moment you will never forget in life, a life-changing moment,” Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers said. “Can you imagine crying before every play? It’s emotional, man. Two young guys trying to do something that you’ve been doing your whole life, and they are just fighting to get a little shine, and then this happens. Sad, man. It’s sad.”

The pain won’t go away anytime soon either. The Cowboys will hold a memorial for Brown in Dallas on Tuesday, and Brent’s absence will remain a constant reminder of the tragedy.

“You can imagine being on that plane and hearing the coach tell you what had happened,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “So much crosses your mind. …I thought the leaders did a good job of handling it the right way and keeping the perspective. That’s real life. There’s not a playbook for that. Nobody tells you, ‘Hey, this is how you handle it.’ I thought our team did a great job, regardless what the outcome of that game was. Everybody had the right approach and the perspective.

“It’s tough, and it’s going to be tough continuing to move forward.”

-- Charean Williams

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