MEMORIAL SERVICE: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown Jr.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his wife Candice arrive at the memorial service for Jerry Brown
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys Executives Stephen Jones, left, and Jerry Jones Jr.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett | Dallas Cowboys NT Josh Brent
Dallas Cowboys NT Josh Brent
Courtesy: Dallas Morning News
NEW ORLEANS — Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players in the league’s bounty investigation of the club.
Tagliabue, however, found that the players’ conduct was detrimental to the league. He says they participated in a performance pool that rewarded key plays — including hard tackles — that could justify fines.
But the former commissioner said Tuesday that “this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization.”
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma initially had been suspended the whole season, while Saints defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove received shorter suspensions.
The Saints face the Cowboys on Dec. 23.
RELATED: Tagliabue vacates bounty players’ suspensions
In a sharp rebuke to his successor’s handling of the NFL’s bounty investigation, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players in a case that has preoccupied the league for almost a year.
Tagliabue, who was appointed by Commissioner Roger Goodell to handle the appeals, still found that three of the players engaged in conduct detrimental to the league. He said they participated in a performance pool that rewarded key plays – including hard tackles – that could merit fines. But he stressed that the team’s coaches were very much involved.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Dez Bryant will be the “ultimate decision-maker” on whether he has surgery now on his left index finger or tries to play with it heavily padded.
Jones, speaking on his weekly radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM “The Fan,” said if Bryant chooses to wait on the surgery, it could have a lasting effect on his finger, leaving it with some stiffness permanently. Jones said hand specialists have said so.
“Dez will the the ultimate decision-maker as to whether or not he wants to continue to try to play with a lot of protection or whether he should have surgery. The reason for the surgery is because you could have a life-lasting stiffness there.
Jones said the Cowboys are still receiving and reviewing the medical information about the finger.
“It has not been decided," Jones said.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said at his Monday press conference that it will be a “medical decision” on whether Bryant plays.
Bryant hurt the finger in the fourth quarter when he caught a slant pass. He left the game for another handful of plays but came back in the same drive to catch a 27-yard touchdown pass. He caught another pass later in the game.
Bryant said he taped up the finger and bore the pain.
Josh Brent at Cowboys facility; Garrett said team offers support; Cowboys considering SafeKey device
With Dallas nose tackle Josh Brent, who was charged with intoxicated manslaughter for his involvement in a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown on Saturday, out on bond, he visited the Cowboys facility yesterday (Monday).
Brent was at Valley Ranch getting treatment and meeting with coach Jason Garrett, who let him know that, “We all love him and we’re going to be here for him.”
Brent was released from jail on Sunday after being arrested for suspicion of intoxication manslaughter. The car he was driving flipped and crashed Saturday night, killing the passenger, practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown.
Brent remains on the active roster. Garrett said he does not know anything about an NFL response to Brent’s arrest.
“We don’t know any specifics about that,” Garrett said. “What we want to do as an organization, as players, as coaches and this entire organization is let him know he should feel supported everywhere he turns. That’s what we want to express to him. It’s a very challenging situation for him. He and Jerry are best friends. They have known each other since college. They were very close in college, very close since they’ve been here together, and it’s a really, really difficult situation for him. We want to make him feel that there are people around him who can help him get through this thing day by day.”
Garrett said he visited with Brent, and that Brent was “very distraught.”
Asked what Brent’s mindset was and if they talked about his football future, Garrett said, “This thing only happened a couple of days ago, so I’m sure you guys understand the situation he’s in and how he feels about the situation, and again, we’re trying to help him get through today. It’s a very, very difficult and challenging situation for him.”
Asked what was the best advice he gave Brent, Garrett said, “Just that we love him and we’re going to be here for him.”
RELATED: Cowboys consider requiring players to use SafeKey Breathalyzer device in cars
The NFL and the Dallas Cowboys are mulling their options and trying to figure out what they can do in the wake of Dallas defensive tackle Josh Brent being charged with manslaughter after killing teammate Jerry Brown in a Saturday morning car crash.
Brent was drunk behind the wheel after leaving Private nightclub, and wrecked his car on state highway 114 killing a teammate and changing so many lives forever.
The Dallas Cowboys and team consultant Calvin Hill are trying to figure out ways to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
“Obviously, we do whatever we can do,” Hill said somberly before Sunday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium, alluding to the team’s educational programs. “I don’t know what more we can do. We’re always examining and going over things.”
Hill said the team is considering implementing a SafeKey device for all players cars, which would prevent them from driving and pulling off while impaired.
“We are considering that,” Hill said.
It remains unclear if the NFLPA would allow such a mandate to be passed by a team. Hill said the league needs to do something to help its players, but understands those same players have to make smart choices.
“Everyone has free will and makes their own decisions,” Hill said. “You try to make them aware that every decision has a consequence and that they’re responsible. You hope they consider the potential consequences.”
RELATED: Cowboys considering use of impairment tests for players cars
Despite their come-from-behind victory over the Bengals on Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys, who mourned the passing of practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown, who was involved in a car crash with defensive tackle Josh Brent this weekend.
Brent survived, but faces intoxicated manslaughter charges. And the Cowboys are left to wonder what they can do to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future. One possible solution is the implementation of an impairment-testing device known as SafeKey on players cars.
"We are considering that," Cowboys consultant Calvin Hill.
Hill didn’t say that Dallas would utilize SafeKey, but said it’s a possibility. Additionally, Bell reports he hasn’t heard from the NFLPA on whether or not the union would oppose the implementation of the devices, though it wouldn’t be surprising as that’s a fairly large infringement on personal property.
Safekey, based on their website, isn’t a breathalyzer test: it’s an impairment test, described by the SafeKey corporation as "a bit like playing a 2.5-second video game."
"The anti-impairment function of the SafeKey is based upon the universal fact that one’s rate of reaction to stimuli drops as impairment increases," the website reads. "The increasing delayed reactions occur regardless of the reason for impairment: alcohol, drugs, sleep deprivation or advanced age. Thus, the SafeKey merely assesses a person’s stimulus-response time."
In other words, this isn’t the same thing as the sort of device installed after people are convicted of DUI; there’s no breathing required. However, there is one similarity: test scores are recorded and emailed.
That could pose a problem for the union, even if any players with a lengthy history of failing the SafeKey test could claim they’re really tired all the time. (This would be more and less difficult if the test was failed consistently at odd hours.)
The odds of SafeKey being implemented by an entire team — much less an entire league — seem extremely low. But even talking about it means that Cowboys, and others around the league, are interested in coming up with ways to avoid future tragic incidents involving NFL players, alcohol and cars. And that’s a good thing.
DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – The Dallas Cowboys are holding a private memorial service for teammate Jerry Brown today (Tuesday) – and Josh Brent, who was arrested on intoxication manslaughter charges in the crash, will be in attendance at the request of Brown’s mother.
On his weekly show on 105.3 The Fan, Jerry Jones revealed that Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, requested that Brent accompany the family on Tuesday.
“Josh is – at Jerry Brown’s mother’s request – she wanted Josh Brent to ride with them,” said Jones. “They’re close, so she wanted him to ride with them and ride with them over to the memorial service. So Josh Brent will be at the airport to meet them and then he will ride over to the memorial service with them and sit with them during the service.”
Jerry Jones, who has spoken with Brown’s mother on two occasions, says the family has no intention of turning their backs on Brent, despite the fact that he was behind the wheel.
“She wanted to be right with Josh and to express in every way she could how much they loved him and thought of him and didn’t want to have him grieve for his loss as a friend without being included in their family,” said Jones.
Brown and Brent were close friends at the University of Illinois, and in their brief stint together on the Cowboys. Since joining the team in October, Brent had opened his home to Brown, who was living with him at the time of the accident.
“Josh was elated when Jerry came onto the team because they were such good friends and teammates in college,” said Jones.
Jerry Brown’s memorial service is closed to the public.
NORTH ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-Vashon High School graduate Jerry Brown died early Saturday morning in a car crash in Irving, Texas. The car was being driven by Josh Brent who was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter. The two were football teammates at Illinois and were both involved with the Dallas Cowboys organization. Brent was a starter. Brown was on the practice squad.
Brown’s family in St. Louis is now looking back at his life and legacy. He graduated from Vashon in 2006 and from that point on his family says he worked hard to reach is dream to play in the NFL.
- Visitation: Friday from 6-8pm at Oak Baptist Church located at 3040 Hickory Street St. Louis, MO 63104.
- Funeral: Saturday at 10am at the Hopewell Church located at 915 N. Taylor
- Burial: St. Peters Cemetery
- Repass at Vashon High School from 2-5pm
Courtesy: FOX2 – KTVI – St. Louis – click HERE to watch video (duration – 2:12)