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December 08, 2012

Cowboys' organization learned of Brown's death early, then planned for way to let players know

The Cowboys’ leadership spent Saturday morning making plans on the fly after learning about the death of Jerry Brown and the arrest of Josh Brent.

The news meant a break from the routine of a departure day in the NFL. And for the Cowboys, it also meant coming up with a way to let the players know what happened while also not revealing news of Brown’s death before his family was notified.

It took the Cowboys the entire morning before they were able to execute a plan. Spokesman Rich Dalrymple explained how the Cowboys came to know about the news and how they adjusted.

At about 9:15 a.m., the organization was informed of the accident, the players involved and what happened. They were told Irving police were trying to locate Brown’s mother to notify her of the news.

The Cowboys began to make plans to tell the team and also to account for the absence of Brent, who will not make the flight because he is in jail on the intoxication manslaughter charge. They sign defensive tackle Robert Calloway from the practice squad and make room for him on the active roster by placing defensive back Orlando Scandrick on injured reserve.

The Cowboys were scheduled to have a team meeting at 12:30, but the meeting is postponed because Brown’s mother has not been notified.

At 1:30, the team is assembled on its charter to Cincinnati. Non-football personnel are asked to step off for a few minutes, and head coach Jason Garrett tells the players what has happened and that Brown has died.

Dalrymple said the team waited to tell the players because it didn’t want Brown’s mother finding out the news from media reports.

At 1:45 p.m., the charter left for Cincinnati.

The Cowboys put out a statement from owner Jerry Jones about 30 minutes later. It said, “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.”

The Cowboys arrive at their hotel at about 5:15 Cincinnati time. They walked in with somber faces and did not address reporters. A hotel employee stopped a reporter who was filming the arrival in the lobby.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez


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The task of telling the players what had happened must be the toughest job Jason Garrett has had since being a head coach. Not a job I would want...I would really have no clue as to how to go about telling an entire team that a teammate was gone.

Prayers to all. Especially Jerry Brown's family.

This is just a horrific story. RIP Jerry Brown. I just heard on NFL Network that the Cowboys have a free transportation service available to all players 24/7...and these guys didnt use it.

I know how it is though. You get suped up on the booze and gain confidence..thinking that 'nothing can happen to me'.

Just senseless. Prayers go out to Jerry Brown's family. I wonder if he has kids??

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