Josh Brent, whose forced fumble helped win the game Sunday against Philadelphia, can be called one of the Cowboys’ rising stars. He knows other rising stars when he sees them.
Including Bryce Brown, the Eagles rookie he forced the fumble against.
“Give him his just due,” Brent said of Brown, who rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns. “It wasn’t all just bad defense. He’s a pretty good back. Everybody talks about LeSean McCoy. I think he, definitely, since LeSean has been out has made a statement for himself and that offense.
“He and Nick Foles are two pretty good young players, and Philly, looking into the future, is going to be a good team.”
The Cowboys, too, think Brent is pretty good young player. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the third-year player is a natural nose tackle, but athletic and can cover ground laterally.
“He’s a two-gapping nose tackle. That’s the body type,” Garrett said. “But he’s also a pretty good athlete. He can make plays from side to side. I think he’s grown every week. I think he’s taken advantage of the opportunity we’ve given him.”
Brent, a a seventh-round supplemental pick in 2010, was starting Sunday night for Jay Ratliff. He played in Ratliff’s place in the first four games of the season and recorded 15 tackles, a sack and two quarterback pressures.
But even when Ratliff came back, Brent continued to make plays. At Carolina, he had a quarterback pressure that resulted in an interception for Claiborne. At Atlanta, he split a sack with DeMarcus Ware. Against Cleveland, he broke up a pass. And on Thanksgiving, again starting for Ratliff, he had four tackles and a pressure.
“It’s a step forward always, when it’s a win,” Brent said, asked if he believes he has taken a step forward this year.
Brent came into Sunday’s game 10th on the team in tackles.
-- Carlos Mendez