Daily Archives: January 22nd, 2014

PONDERING PRISON OR PROBATION: Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent awaits sentencing for intoxication manslaughter of friend Jerry Brown Jr.

PONDERING PRISON OR PROBATION - Ex-Cowboy Josh Brent awaits sentencing for intoxication manslaughter of Jerry Brown Jr. - Dallas Cowboys 2013 2014

DALLAS, TX. – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was found guilty today of intoxication manslaughter after a car crash in December 2012 that resulted in the death of his teammate and friend, Jerry Brown Jr.

The sentencing phase will begin Thursday to determine Brent’s punishment. He could face up to 20 years in prison, but he also could get probation.

“We understand the very serious nature of this situation and express our concerns for all of the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement.

Brent was found guilty by the jury early this afternoon. The jurors deliberated Tuesday and were sequestered that night before coming back with the decision the following afternoon.

Police said Brent’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the wreck. Dallas Cowboys players Barry Church and Danny McCray testified during the trial.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has repeatedly said she’s forgiven Brent and stood by him after the incident. Family members and those closest to Brent could testify during the sentencing period.

Brent has since retired from the NFL since the incident. He last played with the Cowboys in 2012, totaling 1.5 sacks in 12 games. He would have challenged for a starting spot during the 2013 season. Executive vice president Stephen Jones wouldn’t address the possibility of Brent coming back to the team before Brent was found guilty Wednesday.

After Cowboys players had already testified, linebacker Sean Lee arrived at the courthouse Tuesday to offer support to Brent. That move didn’t surprise Stephen Jones, who described Lee as a class act and admired Lee’s ability to lead and be there for his teammates.

Prior to the announcement of the verdict, Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett offered their support for Brent at the Senior Bowl on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our support for Josh has been unwavering since the start of this thing,” Garrett said Tuesday. “Obviously, a very tragic situation for Jerry Brown and his family and for Josh Brent.”


Most recent posts regarding Josh Brent:

THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter

LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week

For all posts (and pictures) related to Josh Brent, click here


THE JURY VERDICT IS IN: Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent found guilty of intoxication manslaughter

Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent stared out the window during deliberations Wednesday at the Dallas County courthouse - The Boys Are Back 2014

Jurors found former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent guilty of intoxication manslaughter this afternoon.

The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for more than two hours this morning. That followed 3 1/2 hours of discussions Tuesday about the case against Brent, who is accused of killing his teammate Jerry Brown Jr. in a December 2012 car crash in Irving. The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for a total of about nine hours before reaching the verdict.

Earlier in the morning, jurors asked to take another look at video of Brent in Club Privae, where he had allegedly been drinking.

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 7 - Josh Brent is found guilty of intoxicated manslaughter and put into handcuffs at Crowley Criminal Courts Building in Dallas

After the verdict was read, the former Dallas Cowboy was handcuffed and led from the courtroom in the custody of the Dallas County sheriff’s office.

The trial’s punishment phase will begin Thursday. Brent faces up to 20 years in prison for the December 2012 crash that killed teammate and best friend Jerry Brown Jr.


The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 1

Josh Brent, a 320-pound defense lineman, had been drinking champagne and cognac on the night of the crash. To register a blood alcohol level of 0.18 meant he had to have had 17 standard-sized alcoholic beverages. Brent told police at the crash scene that he had an alcohol “buzz.” He blamed the wreck on having trouble slowing down, not alcohol. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 2

Brent was drinking straight out of a bottle inside Privae, a private club in Dallas. Surveillance video from the club shows Brent raising his arms with a bottle in each hand. Customers must purchase a bottle to have a table. Waitresses from the club and a Dallas restaurant, Eddie V’s, testified they did not think Brent was intoxicated. Defense attorneys rebutted video footage, saying he could have been drinking from glass water bottles that only appeared to be alcohol. Photo: Rex C. Curry

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 3

Brent was driving at least 110 mph on the service road of State Highway 114 when he flipped his white Mercedes. The posted speed limit was 45 mph. It threw Brown, 25, on top of Brent and cushioned him from serious injury, said Irving Police investigator James Fairbairn. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 4

Defense attorneys attacked the validity of tests that determined Brent’s blood alcohol level. They said the testing procedures were flawed. Partial data on water used as a control substance showed trace amounts of ethanol, an alcohol. But prosecutors submitted complete data that showed no ethanol in the water. Photo: Ron Baselice

The five biggest revelations in trial of ex-Cowboy Josh Brent - 5

Jerry Brown Jr’s blood alcohol level was just below the legal limit to drive. It was 0.079 when he died, said Dallas County medical examiner Jeffrey Barnard. Brown died of blunt force injuries to his neck and head. Neither player was wearing a seat belt. Photo: LM Otero/AP


Related article … posted here on January 18, 2014:

LAW AND ORDER: Dallas Cowboys teammates testify in Josh Brent intoxication manslaughter trial | Brent’s defense rests | Jury to deliberate next week

For all posts (and pictures) related to JOSH BRENT, click here


NEW NFL ALL-STAR GAME: Significant changes to the NFL Pro Bowl format designed to be fan-friendly

NFL Pro Bowl 2014 - New NFL All-Star game - New NFL Pro Bowl 2014 - 2014 NFL Pro Bowl Draft - NFL Pro Bowl logo - Team Sanders - Team Rice

The NFL is starting over with the Pro Bowl.

The NFL originally announced radical changes to the format of the All-Star game back in May, eliminating the traditional AFC vs. NFC matchup in favor of a fantasy draft-like roster selection.

Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as alumni captains, choosing two rosters with the help of two NFL.com fantasy users.

The NFL and NFLPA distributed a joint press release, explaining that the changes are designed to make the Pro Bowl “the ultimate fan-friendly celebration of the game.”

“As players, we wanted to keep the Pro Bowl to honor excellence in individual performance and connect with the fans in a different environment,” said NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth, who proposed the changes to the game. “To do that, I worked with a group of players to map out new ideas.”

Under the new format, players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players.

Players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, which will air (tonight) on Wednesday, Jan. 22, on NFL Network.

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

NFL Pro Bowl 2014 - New NFL Pro Bowl All-Star game - New NFL Pro Bowl 2014 uniforms on NFL Network - 2014 NFL Pro Bowl Draft - Team Sanders - Team Rice

The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl will feature new uniforms from Nike

  • Game within the Game: A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct “two-minute drills,” which are especially exciting for fans.
  • No Kickoffs: The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.
  • Rosters: The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back.
  • Cover Two and Press Coverage: The defense will be permitted to play “cover two” and “press” coverage. In previous years, only “man” coverage was permitted, except for goal-line situations.
  • Stopping of the Game Clock: Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.
  • Game Timing: The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
  • Play Clock: A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.
  • Sacks: The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

Button - NFL Pro Bowl Check out the new NFL Pro Bowl page for much more detailed information about the NFL’s All-Star game!

 


ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT: Senior Bowl 2014 | NFC Championship Game should help steer 2014 Dallas Cowboys draft

ROAD TO THE 2014 NFL DRAFT - Senior Bowl 2014 - NFC Championship Game should help steer 2014 Dallas Cowboys draft

Most of the Dallas Cowboys brass arrived in Mobile, Ala. for the 2014 Senior Bowl on Monday.

We’d like to think Jerry Jones and the team’s front-office personnel was watching closely when the 49ers and Seahawks slugged it out for the NFC Championship the night before.

During the game, it was pretty clear what needs to be done in the upcoming draft and even free agency.

Actually, it has been clear to everyone just by watching the Dallas Cowboys 2013 regular season.

This team needs Dee-fense. And plenty of it.

It’s not just because they were the worst in the NFL and worst in team history. Those are reasons enough to go draft defense in the first three to four rounds. This team needs a defensive tackle, a pass-rusher, an outside linebacker and a safety. And a good cornerback wouldn’t hurt either – you can never have too many.

After watching the 49ers and Seahawks it was very clear that the Cowboys have plenty of offense to win a Super Bowl. Sure, there are some natural improvements that need to be made, but that’s with any team.

The direction the offensive line is going is very positive and the running game went from a liability early in the year, to average by the middle of the season to pretty much becoming a team-strength by seasons’ end.

People love what the 49ers and Seahawks did to get young, athletic and cheap (for now) quarterbacks. But they can do that because they’ve got a defense and running game to lean on.

Russell Wilson is a good, young quarterback, but he fell into the perfect situation for him. I don’t think he could go win the game if he was on the Bucs or the Browns or even the Cowboys. Russell Wilson had the No. 1 defense in the NFL on the other side. Imagine if he had the worst.

Ask yourself if you’d rather have Wilson and the Cowboys’ team or Romo and the Seahawks’ team. Do the same with the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick. That one might actually be a little different because there are some fans who wouldn’t mind seeing Kaepernick in Dallas.

Either way, the point is that if those teams can get to the Super Bowl – or really close – with that type of offense, the Dallas Cowboys can do that as well.

Just give them some help on defense.

Those defenses are nasty. The only thing nasty about the Dallas Cowboys defense is the stats and the yards it gives up.

The front four of the 49ers or Seahawks, you’ll see brute strength that seems missing with other squads, particularly this one here in Dallas. You don’t see arms and triceps like you see with those teams and players.

That was a very physical football game and we knew it would be. Jason Pierre-Paul said something about blood being shed in the Cowboys-Giants game back in late November. But that one had nothing on this past battle between the 49ers and Seahawks, which has arguably become the best rival in football right now.

The Cowboys are going to keep all of their defensive assistants. That’s what’s coming out of Mobile this week at the 2014 Senior Bowl.

Monte Kiffin is returning for his second year, at least give him some help. You can draft defense in the first three picks, if not four or five and you’d be OK.

The only exception I could see to that is taking an offensive guard in the first round.  That would be the only position to consider with that 16th or 17th pick. Guards have good value there and you’ve seen the benefits of taking Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick early and really building something from the ground up.

Dallas can get by with Ron Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau, and maybe Brian Waters if he decides to come back. But you can’t get by with plucking guys off their couch and into the defensive-line rotation.

If Sunday’s game in Seattle showed us anything, it’s that defense really does win championships – at least conference ones. But it also showed this offense is plenty good enough to win.

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