Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stopped short of saying Josh Brent could no longer be on the sideline.
“There’s not a bright line,” he said Wednesday on his radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM “The Fan.”
Jones said the Cowboys are “evolving through this thing.”
The team has been trying to be supportive of Brent, who faces intoxication manslaughter charges in the death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown. Brent was at the wheel, and Brown was a passenger in a Dec. 8 accident in Irving. Brown’s mother urged Brent’s teammates to continue to support him.
Jones said the NFL did contact the team after although his presence on the sideline last week in the Pittsburgh game prompted national criticism from football analysts, fans, anti-drunk driving groups and others.
“Yes, and we had a good visit about it,” Jones said. “And we all agreed we would let this evolve and just see how it is. They were assured of what our situation is, and that his teammates wanted to support him very well. And we’ll see how it goes.”
Jones said he understood why the players wanted Brent to come to the game.
“The sideline is a work place for players. It’s a place where you can help support your team,” Jones said. “If you can’t play, you can help a player that’s out there playing do a better job. So his team – we didn’t know, I didn’t know, the coaches didn’t know – that his teammates had asked him to come. And that’s not a bad thing at all.”
At Valley Ranch on Wednesday, coach Jason Garrett said Brent is “absolutely” welcome to come to the facility, where he can continue to work and get treatment. The Cowboys have put him on the reserve non-football injury list, so his season is over.
Jones said, “He can come to the complex, can contribute, and again, if you looked at that sideline the way players look at it on game day, which is a workplace, a place to support each other, to give each other the kind of tips or the help you can if you’re not on the field, it’s probably clearer as to why they asked him to come be with them.”
-- Carlos Mendez