IRVING, Texas — Josh Brent and Jerry Brown met in college, forming a close, unshakeable bond. Having realized his NFL dream, Brent was trying to help his roommate do the same.
But Brent wasn’t starting on Dallas’ defensive line when the Cowboys kicked off in Cincinnati on Sunday. He was in jail, accused of driving drunk and causing a fatal accident that killed Brown, an expectant father who had just landed a spot on the Cowboys practice squad.
Around 5 p.m., a barefooted Brent walked slowly out of the jail in the Dallas suburb of Irving after his release on $500,000 bond. Surrounded by camera crews and reporters, Brent had several patches of missing hair and a bandage wrapped about his right hand.
“Jerry Brown was my very best friend, and I’m just trying to deal with his death right now,” Brent said, stopping briefly when asked if he had anything to say to Brown’s family. He didn’t answer any other questions.
Brent, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound nose guard, was arrested at the scene of the accident Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a charge upped to intoxication manslaughter after Brown, 25, died.
The two athletes’ friendship, which blossomed during their three seasons at Illinois, was obvious to those who knew them. Brown lived with Brent during the six weeks he spent with the Cowboys.
The circumstances surrounding Brown’s death didn’t change his family’s view of his relationship with Brent, who pleaded guilty to a driving under the influence charge while a player at Illinois in 2009.
In the Illinois case, Brent was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation among other sanctions.
Spokesman Rich Dalrymple said the team was planning a private memorial service for Tuesday in the Dallas area.
Not taking a chance
Metrodome officials are making sure the heavy snow in downtown Minneapolis doesn’t bring the roof down.
It’s been almost two years to the day since 17 inches of snow in 24 hours tore holes in the inflatable dome, forcing the Vikings to play the final two games of the season elsewhere. The repair project cost $22.7 million.
Steve Maki, director of facilities for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, confirms they cranked up the heat after Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game. And he says they’ll keep it that way until the storm passes. He says everything is well so far.
• Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left in the fourth quarter with a neck injury after taking a hit to the head by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen that drew a penalty. Cutler stayed in for the drive, but backup Jason Campbell replaced him. Cutler missed a game last month because of a concussion.
• Cleveland won its third straight game, its longest streak since 2009. The Browns’ 23-point margin of victory was their largest since 2003.
• The Browns’ Trent Richardson has nine rushing touchdowns to tie the club’s rookie record set by Hall of Famer Jim Brown in 1957.
• Kansas City leading receiver Dwayne Bowe injured his ribs in the first half and didn’t come back.
• Vikings punter Chris Kluwe continued his campaign to get punter Ray Guy into the Hall of Fame by writing “Vote Ray Guy” on his jersey patch commemorating the Hall. Kluwe wrote the message in protest of the fact that there are no punters in the Hall.
• Chicago’s Brandon Marshall joined Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Wes Welker as the only players with at least four seasons of 100 or more receptions. Marshall set the club record with his 101st catch this year.
• 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs said that he is “on this team rotting away,” while referring to his first season with the Niners as his “worst,” yet during an eight-year career that included seven with the N. Y. Giants. Jacobs has five carries this season.
• Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has six fourth-quarter comebacks this season, one more than Ben Roethlisberger had in 2004 and Vince Young had in 2006 – the highest single-season total by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. He passed Peyton Manning for most passing yards by a rookie in club history.
• Colts receiver Reggie Wayne (956) passed Andre Reed (951) for No. 10 on the league’s receptions list.
• San Diego beat the Steelers on the road for the first time since the AFL-NFL merger more than 40 years ago.
• The Rams have won three in a row for the first time since 2006.
• The Ravens have lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009.
• Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin passed the 10,000-yard receiving mark.
• Buffalo running back Fred Jackson hurt his right leg and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain.