The Dallas Cowboys won a big game on Sunday, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime to take control of their playoff destiny after a near-disastrous 3-5 start to the season. The turnaround by the team since November has been remarkable, especially in light of the tragedy that took the life of practice squad member Jerry Brown.
The media turned against the Cowboys once more when Josh Brent, who was charged with intoxication manslaughter, was spotted on the sideline during the 27-24 win over the Steelers. The team has stated their desire, initially expressed by Jerry Brown's mother, that they take care of Brent during a very tough time. That hasn't stopped a round of intense scrutiny and negative attention as the Cowboys have been judged harshly for their decision to allow Brent on the sideline.
Except, according to the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys didn't even know Brent would be present:
Several of the Cowboys players called Brent and implored him to come to the game. They wanted him there. Since Brent is on the non-football illness list, he can show up at any time before the game like a player on injured reserve and gain access.
Owner Jerry Jones, executive vice president Stephen Jones and head coach Jason Garrett weren't aware that Brent was going to be at the game until they saw him on the sidelines. Brent eventually left the game once he realized he was being a distraction.
Brent has been on the inactive list for two weeks now, as the league has yet to take formal action while legal proceedings are still underway. The Cowboys face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, at 1 p.m. ET.