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Report: Josh Brent barred from Cowboys sideline for rest of year

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

The situation involving Josh Brent and the Cowboys is an odd one. Brent was charged with intoxicated manslaughter after driving the car that killed his teammate Jerry Brown. Brown and Brent were best friends, Brent rode with the family to Brown's funeral and he has been publicly forgiven by Brown's mother.

But he also appeared on the Cowboys sideline Sunday, during a game in which the Cowboys were honoring Brown. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that neither the NFL nor the Cowboys were aware that Brent would join the team on the sideline, both the league and team believe it was inappropriate for him to be there and he won't be allowed there in the future.

It's unclear whether head coach Jason Garrett knew Brent would be there, but Garrett did say that many players encouraged Brent to join the Cowboys on the sideline.

"It becomes a real sensitive topic to a lot of people when you're in a public place like the game," Garrett said Monday. "There were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team. This is a game and you need to be here. That's what our players wanted to convey to him and they really encouraged him to come to the game. I thought Josh handled it beautifully the way that he came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave.

"But we're going to support him in every way that we can. We also will be sensitive to this kind of issue."

The Cowboys drew criticism from a number of different spots for having Brent on the sideline. Which is probably why Brent won't be re-joining the team there in the future.

It's a tough situation. Brent is charged with a crime, but he's also someone who needs support from his friends. And his teammates are his friends. The Cowboys, understandably, don't want to hang him out to dry or turn their collective backs on Brent.

But running a football team is a high-profile business, and sometimes businesses have to do what's in the best interest of public relations. This is the Cowboys doing exactly that.

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